Trump: Comey tes­ti­mony ‘to­tally clears’ me

Boston Herald - - NEWS - BY JULES CRITTENDEN Her­ald wire ser­vices con­trib­uted to this re­port.

Pres­i­dent Trump claimed a win as James Comey an­swered ques­tions from Congress be­hind closed doors, tweet­ing that the for­mer FBI di­rec­tor’s tes­ti­mony “to­tally clears the Pres­i­dent.”

“It is be­ing re­ported that Leakin’ James Comey was told by Depart­ment of Jus­tice at­tor­neys not to an­swer the most im­por­tant ques­tions. To­tal bias and cor­rup­tion at the high­est lev­els of pre­vi­ous Ad­min­is­tra­tion. Force him to an­swer the ques­tions un­der oath!” Trump tweeted yesterday. He added later, “To­tally clears the Pres­i­dent. Thank you!”

House Repub­li­cans who hauled Comey back onto Capi­tol Hill one fi­nal time be­fore they cede power to Democrats in Jan­uary in­di­cated they weren’t sat­is­fied with Comey’s re­sponses and in­tend to bring him back later this month.

An ex­as­per­ated Comey mean­while told re­porters, “We’re talk­ing about Hil­lary Clin­ton’s emails, for heaven’s sake, so I’m not sure we needed to do this at all.”

Comey in­sisted that a tran­script of the six-hour in­ter­view, when it is re­leased, “will bore you.” He said he ex­pects to be back for an­other round of ques­tions the week of Dec. 17.

Repub­li­cans say Comey and other Jus­tice Depart­ment of­fi­cials were bi­ased against Trump as they in­ves­ti­gated his cam­paign’s ties with Rus­sia in 2016 and cleared Clin­ton in a sep­a­rate probe into her email use.

Dis­grun­tled Democrats mean­while said the GOP-led Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee pro­ceed­ing was a dis­trac­tion from spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller’s Rus­sia probe.

Comey ap­peared for the in­ter­view af­ter un­suc­cess­fully fight­ing a sub­poena in court. It was the first time he an­swered law­mak­ers’ ques­tions since an ex­plo­sive June 2017 hear­ing in which he as­serted that Trump fired him to in­ter­fere with his FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion of al­leged Rus­sia ties to the Trump cam­paign.

Two GOP-led com­mit­tees are wrap­ping up a year­long in­ves­ti­ga­tion into de­ci­sions made at the Jus­tice Depart­ment dur­ing the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. Repub­li­cans ar­gue that depart­ment of­fi­cials were bi­ased against Trump as they started the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and cleared Clin­ton in a sep­a­rate probe into her email use. Comey was in charge of both in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Un­der a deal struck with the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, Comey was to be free to speak about yesterday’s ques­tion­ing af­ter­ward and a tran­script was to be re­leased. Comey had ar­gued that Repub­li­cans would se­lec­tively leak de­tails and mis­char­ac­ter­ize the pro­ceed­ings.

AP

BACK ON THE HILL: Ex-FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey, with his at­tor­ney David Kel­ley, right, speaks to re­porters af­ter a day of tes­ti­mony be­fore the House Ju­di­ciary and Over­sight com­mit­tees on Capi­tol Hill yesterday.

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