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Comey set for closed-door interview with House Republicans

08 December 2018

"I'm not sure we needed to do this at all", Comey said after exiting his interview with the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees. House Republicans are expected to grill him on his agency's actions during the 2016 campaign, and his decision not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her handling of her e-mails.

NY congressman Jerrold Nadler, the top Democrat on the judiciary panel, said as he walked into the Comey interview that he will end this investigation when Democrats take the House majority in January.

The questions that are being asked at the hearing, which is expected to run through Friday afternoon, reportedly have to do with issues including reportedly political bias of Federal Bureau of Investigation officials, Comey's statement recommending no criminal charges against Hillary Clinton, and how he allegedly wrote it before Clinton was interviewed, flexibility that the Justice Department reportedly had with regards to Clinton's advisers, and possibly also concerns that the Federal Bureau of Investigation may have abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court system.

Disgraced former FBI boss James Comey refused to answer specific questions during Friday's congressional hearing under the advice of his attorney; sparking outrage from GOP legislators hoping to get answers regarding Hillary Clinton's botched email investigation.

Former FBI Director James Comey is sitting with the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees behind closed doors on Friday to answer (or not answer) their questions.

Comey initially resisted the subpoena from committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), saying he wanted a public hearing. Under a deal struck with the House Judiciary Committee, he can speak afterward and a transcript will be released.

"Don't do it in a dark corner and don't do it in a way where all you do is leak information", said Comey's attorney, David Kelley.

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President Donald Trump fired Comey in May 2017, a move that led the Justice Department to appoint Robert Mueller special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, including potential collusion between Trump's campaign associates and Russian officials.

Comey added: "Let's have a hearing and invite everyone to see".

Comey was on the Hill after backing down in his effort to fight a subpoena to force him to testify. Two other Republicans, Reps.

Trump has repeatedly called the Russian Federation probe a "witch hunt" and has accused Comey and his close colleagues of being corrupt.

Gowdy and House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte threw cold water on that proposal, arguing that previous public hearings with witnesses, like one with former Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok this past summer, were a political farce as members from both parties used the high-profile nature of the interview to grandstand.

The Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Virginia Rep. Robert Goodlatte, decried Comey's use of "baseless litigation" and called it an "attempt to run out the clock on this Congress", a reference to the few weeks left before Democrats take control.

After the court fight was resolved, Goodlatte said a transcript will be released "as soon as possible after the interview, in the name of our combined desire for transparency". But it also found there was no evidence that Comey's or the department's final conclusions were motivated by political bias toward either candidate. Yet it did not second-guess his conclusion that Clinton should not have been prosecuted, despite assertions by Trump and his supporters that anyone less politically connected would have been charged.

Comey set for closed-door interview with House Republicans