James Comey Backs Off Legal Fight, Agrees to Testify Privately

James Comey
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Dec. 2 (UPI) — Former FBI Director James Comey said Sunday he will testify before Congress this week after dropping a challenge to a House subpoena.

Comey made the announcement on Twitter after saying he reached a deal with Republicans to make the private testimony after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., agreed to make his comments public in their entirety after the hearing.

“Grateful for a fair hearing from judge. Hard to protect my rights without being in contempt, which I don’t believe in. So will sit in the dark, but Republicans agree I’m free to talk when done and transcript released in 24 hours. This is the closest I can get to public testimony,” Comey wrote.

The testimony will center on an investigation by Goodlatte and other House Republicans into the FBI and Justice Department’s handlings of probes into former Secretary of State’s Hillary Clinton’s email practices and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

House Republicans issued subpoenas to Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch last month and Comey issued a challenge, saying he would prefer a public hearing instead of a closed-door session.

“I’m still happy to sit in the light and answer all questions. But I will resist a ‘closed door’ thing because I’ve seen enough of their selective leaking and distortion. Let’s have a hearing and invite everyone to see,” he tweeted at the time.

On Sunday, Goodlatte issued a statement saying the transcript of Comey’s testimony would be released to the public “as soon as possible” after the interview “in the name of our combined desire for transparency.”

“I was disappointed that Mr. Comey filed a motion to quash the subpoena sent to him to appear for our investigation,” he said. “Mr. Comey chose to file a motion to quash despite clear Supreme Court precedent setting forth Congress’ authority to issue subpoenas compelling testimony before its committees. There was no need to use baseless litigation in an attempt to run out the clock on this Congress, and I am glad that it was withdrawn.”

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