Trump: I Was 'Exonerated' by Lafayette Square Probe, McGahn Testimony Then-President Donald Trump holds up a bible in front of St John's Episcopal church after walking across Lafayette Park from the White House in Washington, D.C. on June 1, 2020. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Thursday, 10 June 2021 11:43 AM
Former President Donald Trump issued a statement Thursday after being "exonerated" by an investigation into his Lafayette Square appearance and by ex-White House counsel Donald McGahn's testimony before lawmakers.
A report released Wednesday by the Interior Department's inspector general concluded the decision to forcibly clear racial justice protesters from an area in front of Lafayette Square last summer was not influenced by Trump's plan to stage a photo opportunity at that spot.
Later Wednesday, the Washington Post reported McGahn "refused to condemn Trump or impugn the former president's actions as illegal" based on a transcript of his closed-door testimony that was released by the House Judiciary Committee.
McGahn was questioned for hours Friday by committee members about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump tried to stop it.
"Now that I have been totally exonerated on the Mueller Witch Hunt with a charge of No Collusion, I have often wondered, if a fake investigation is illegally started based on information provided and paid for by the DNC and the Clinton campaign, shouldn’t they be held accountable?" Trump said in a statement posted Thursday morning on Twitter by Right Side Broadcasting Network.
"Not to mention, wasting tens of millions of taxpayer dollars and interfering with years of presidential administration? I fought the made-up Hoax strongly and effectively, and I won.
"Then they fabricated, out of thin air, the fake allegation that I obstructed justice, and I won that too. Think of it, how can you obstruct justice when you were fighting a false and illegally submitted narrative?"
Trump then mentioned the Lafayette Square investigation and McGahn's testimony.
"This week I have been totally exonerated by the Inspector General in clearing of Lafayette Park, despite earlier reports that it was done for political purposes," Trump said.
"And I have also been totally exonerated in Congress by the testimony of former White House lawyer Don McGahn. It came, it went, and was a big 'nothingburger.'
"But fear not, the Radial Left, country destroying, illegal Witch Hunts continue, and I will win those too!"
On June 1, 2020, demonstrators were protesting the death of George Floyd. A half-hour after the protesters were forced from the area with pepper pellets and flash-bangs, Trump walked across Lafayette Square and delivered a short speech while holding a Bible in front of St. John's Church.
McGahn’s appearance marked the end of a two-year legal standoff over whether an executive branch official can be forced to testify to Congress, even if his appearance does not provide either side with a clear-cut legal victory.
The battle over McGahn’s testimony centered on the publicly released portions of his testimony to Mueller. Some of the testimony described how Trump allegedly tried to interfere with or quash Mueller’s inquiry, including by trying to fire Mueller himself.