Sens. Lee, Manchin Criticize Comey’s Memo Leak; See No Evidence of Trump Collusion

By Susan Jones | June 12, 2017 | 5:17am EDT
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) says he's not seen even a "scintilla" of evidence that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians. He appeared on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, June 11, 2017. (Screen grab from ABC)

( - Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said he doesn’t know if former FBI Director James Comey broke the law when he leaked to the press his summary of conversations with President Donald Trump.

“I'm not wild about the fact that he had these memos leaked -- leaked specifically with the intent of prompting the appointment of a special prosecutor,” Lee told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

“That doesn't seem to me to be the kind of thing we want out of an FBI director -- an FBI director whose example will affect everyone else in a department -- in a Bureau where leaking seems to be a problem.”

“Do you think he committed a crime?” host George Stephanopoulos asked Lee.

“I don't know whether it's a crime. There are those who have suggested that it was. It does, at least, to me, to have been -- it appears to have been inappropriate. I don't think he should have done it.”

Appearing later on the same show, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va), a member of the intelligence committee, called the Comey leak “concerning.”

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he's seen no evidence of collusion. He appeared on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, June 11, 2017. (Screen grab from ABC)

“That was concerning when we heard that, you know. But I looked at it as self-preservation," Manchin said.

“I mean, we're in an unprecedented era, if you will, kind of unorthodox approaches to governing. and with that it looks like that he took whatever action he thought for self-preservation and we'll see if that rises to a level of greater concern or of any type of action that needs to be taken. And I think Bob Mueller will do an open, fair and honest job on that also.”

Both Sens. Lee and Manchin said they’ve seen no evidence that President Trump colluded with the Russians:

“I have yet to see anything, even a scintilla,” Lee said. “And so it's time to wrap this up and it's time to move on. I don't see any evidence of anything happening here and as a result, I think it's time to move forward.”

Lee also said he doesn’t see “any evidence of intent to obstruct” on Trump’s part. “I don't see any indication that there was even the potential for corruption here or for obstruction of justice.”

Manchin, asked if he sees any evidence of collusion, said no: “You know, we haven’t seen any of that whatsoever, George. We've been looking and showing everything they possibly have. That has not led to that.”

Manchin said the intelligence committee will accept the recommendation made by special counsel Robert Mueller.

President Trump tweeted on Sunday, "I believe the James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible. Totally illegal? Very 'cowardly!'"

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