President Trump accused former FBI director James Comey on Sunday of lying during his closed-door testimony to Congress.
Appearing under subpoena on Friday, Comey spoke to the House Judiciary and Oversight committees about the Justice Department’s handling of investigations into the 2016 presidential election.
Released on Saturday, the transcripts show that Comey, who had told reporters the conversation “will bore you,” frequently said he could not remember certain facts or details.
Trump pounced on these instances in denouncing Comey on Twitter on Sunday: “On 245 occasions, former FBI Director James Comey told House investigators he didn’t know, didn’t recall, or couldn’t remember things when asked. Opened investigations on 4 Americans (not 2) – didn’t know who signed off and didn’t know Christopher Steele. All lies!”
Without providing evidence, Trump continued to accuse Comey of lying to the House lawmakers: “Leakin’ James Comey must have set a record for who lied the most to Congress in one day. His Friday testimony was so untruthful! This whole deal is a Rigged Fraud headed up by dishonest people who would do anything so that I could not become President. They are now exposed!”
Republicans in Congress have accused Comey of being biased against Trump when he launched the initial investigation into Russia’s campaign to disrupt American democracy. This was picked up by Robert Mueller, the special counsel, in May 2017. They have also argued that Comey exonerated Hillary Clinton too swiftly for using a private email server while she was secretary of state.
But Democrats have argued that these Republican-led investigations are a partisan attack intended to distract from Mueller’s work and that relitigating the Clinton email scandal is a waste of time — a sentiment Comey shares.
“We’re talking about Hillary Clinton’s emails, for heaven’s sake,” Comey said after the testimony. “So, I’m not sure we needed to do this at all.”
Comey is scheduled to appear again for questioning on Dec. 17. When the next Congress is seated after Jan. 1, the House will be controlled by Democrats. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., who is in line to chair the Judiciary Committee, called the session with Comey “a waste of time” and an attempt to distract attention from Mueller’s investigation.
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