WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump claimed Friday that James Comey cleared him of wrongdoing in his testimony to Congress. That’s not what the fired FBI chief did.
TRUMP tweet: “Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication.”
THE FACTS: Trump’s claim of vindication from Comey’s testimony is groundless. Comey merely testified that the FBI investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign did not extend to Trump himself during the time Comey was leading the FBI.
The FBI investigation continues, as do congressional inquiries, and sufficient questions were raised for the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor with wide-ranging powers of inquiry — work that is only recently underway.
Comey said he told Trump in multiple conversations that he was not being personally investigated and said the president implored him to make that public. Comey told senators he resisted those entreaties because the situation could change and if it did, that, too, would have to be announced.
Comey repeatedly refused to say in the Senate hearing Thursday whether he thought Trump had obstructed justice. He suggested that was a matter for the special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, to judge as he proceeds.
That’s not vindication.
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EDITOR’S NOTE _ A look at the veracity of claims by political figures