Comey challenge to House subpoena goes to court

Howard TerryDec 05, 2018

Comey wrote Sunday on Twitter that he was "grateful for a fair hearing from judge".

McFadden asked whether Comey could release a transcript of his testimony to get the full picture before the public. "Mr. Comey will join us for a closed-door transcribed interview later this week", Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said in a statement.

Former FBI Director James Comey said Sunday that he would sit for a private deposition with House Republicans after filing a legal challenge to force a public hearing. "Mr. Comey should agree to these terms and see that we have the same goal, which is to find the truth and seek transparency".

Lawyers for the committee ridiculed Comey on Friday for his "grandiose demand" to offer testimony in public, where TV cameras would turn his answers into endlesly replayde video clips.

Comey was due to appear Monday on the Hill, but Kelley disclosed in court that a new subpoena changed the deposition date to Tuesday.

Democrats have complained that the Republican-led inquiry is a partisan effort to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Russia-related claims.

They have also claimed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation made missteps when it applied for a warrant to place former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page under surveillance.

A Justice Department report earlier this year criticised Mr Comey for his handling of the Clinton matter, but said he did not show any bias.

But Thomas Hungar, a lawyer for the U.S. House of Representatives, said a 1975 Supreme Court case known as Eastland v. U.S. Servicemen's Fund made it clear that the Speech or Debate Clause in the U.S. Constitution provides for complete immunity for the issuance of such subpoenas.

But the hearing is one of several planned by House Republicans in the lame duck session, before Democrats assume the House majority in January, which will focus on the activities and investigations of Clinton.

In a recent tweet, Comey thanked the judge for giving him a fair hearing and said it was hard to protect his rights without being in contempt of court.

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who also was subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee to appear behind closed doors on Tuesday, is negotiating with the committee to appear at a later date, according to two sources familiar with the discussions, who say the Obama appointee is not expected to appear next week.

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