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Mike Lee says no evidence of Trump obstruction, wrongdoing, time to move on

Published June 13, 2017 7:54 am

Of Comey's testimony, Utah senator says, "I don't see that that amounts to obstruction" by the president.
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Republican Sen. Mike Lee said he's yet to see "anything, even a scintilla" of evidence indicating that President Donald Trump obstructed justice in his interactions with former FBI Director James Comey.

"And so it's time to wrap this up, and it's time to move on," the Utah senator said in a Sunday appearance on ABC News' "This Week."

Comey, who testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week, accused the White House of spreading "lies, plain and simple" about him. Trump abruptly fired him last month, Comey said, because of his investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 U.S. election.

"I was fired in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change, the way the Russia investigation was being conducted," Comey said. "That is a very big deal, and not just because it involves me."

The former FBI boss also indicated that Trump approached him with the intention to halt an investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. In February, less than one month into the job, Flynn left his post in the administration after it was disclosed that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his discussions with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

Still — though Lee said Comey "doesn't strike me as someone who would lie under oath" — the senator believes there's nothing to indicate wrongdoing by Trump and it's "time to move forward."

"I don't see that that amounts to obstruction," he said about Comey's testimony. "I don't see any evidence of intent to obstruct. I don't see that there was even the potential for corruption here or for obstruction of justice."

Lee also said Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee about his interactions with Russian officials and his recusal from the investigation into the administration, would "never intentionally mislead another or intentionally misstate the truth." Comey indicated that Sessions had a third undisclosed meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Lee, a conservative, criticized Trump during the election and voted for independent candidate Evan McMullin in protest. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he has oversight over the Department of Justice

Meanwhile, outgoing Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, also defended Trump after Comey's sworn testimony, saying there "was nothing there that would bolster those claims" that the president did anything illegal.


Twitter: @CourtneyLTanner






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