Comey to speak privately with House Judiciary Committee investigators today

Comey to speak privately with House Judiciary Committee investigators today

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The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence submitted a letter Thursday asking FBI Director James Comey to testify in closed session on May 2. (Brookings Institute via Flickr)

WASHINGTON – Former FBI Director James Comey will privately speak with House Judiciary Committee investigators today for a transcribed interview.

Last month House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) subpoenaed Comey for a closed-door interview. Comey said he would “resist” speaking behind closed-doors but would be happy to answer questions in a public hearing. The request was denied.

Attorneys for Comey subsequently filed a motion to challenge the subpoena.

However, last week Comey and the committee reached an agreement under which he would answer questions behind closed doors but is allowed to speak about his testimony and a transcript of the interview is made public.

President Donald Trump fired Comey in May 2017. The firing caused intense political fallout and resulted in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointing Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate potential collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials. About two months earlier, Comey told the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI was investigating Russian inference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election as well as potential collusion.

Trump has stringently denied allegations of collusion and routinely refers to Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt.”

Trump often lambasts both Mueller and Comey in tweets. The president did so again Friday morning.

Republicans have criticized Comey for singing off on a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant that authorized surveillance of former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.

Many Republicans claim the FBI and DoJ have demonstrated bias against the Trump administration and that Hillary Clinton was given special treatment during the investigation into her use of private email server while Secretary of State. They also allege there is a double standard for those who supported Clinton and those who supported Trump.

A DoJ Inspector General report released in June said Comey violated Bureau protocol in his handling of the Clinton email probe.

Friday’s disposition may be the last time Republicans get to question Comey.

Democrats take control of the House in January and will have subpoena power.

At that point investigations into the Trump administration are likely to take precedence.

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