Former FBI director James Comey revealed Thursday morning that he was subpoenaed by congressional investigators and demanded a public hearing because House Republicans have previously engaged in the “leaking and distortion” of testimonies of other government officials.
“Happy Thanksgiving. Got a subpoena from House Republicans,” Comey wrote. “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,” the former law enforcement official added.
Happy Thanksgiving. Got a subpoena from House Republicans. 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.
— James Comey (@Comey) November 22, 2018
Additionally, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch received a subpoena from House Republicans. The Obama-era official has yet to comment publically on the matter. Goodlatte is requesting Comey and Lynch appear for private depositions on December 3 and December 4, respectively.
THANKSGIVING SUBPOENAS: The House Judiciary Committee officially sent subpoenas to James COMEY and Loretta LYNCH yesterday. Dems want their hearings to be public. pic.twitter.com/Emuvb4w5hB
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) November 22, 2018
In response to the development, David Kelley, Comey’s attorney, said in a statement: “Mr. Comey embraces and welcomes a hearing open to the public, but the subpoena issued yesterday represents an abuse of process, a divergence from House rules and its presumption of transparency. Accordingly, Mr. Comey will resist in Court this abuse of process.”
As previously reported, House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has been laying down the groundwork to subpoena the two former officials to appear before lawmakers ahead of the House Democrats taking power in January.
In October, the fired FBI chief refused a request by the House Judiciary Committee to testify behind closed doors about alleged political bias at the bureau and Justice Department.
“Mr. Comey respectfully declines your request for a private interview,” said Kelley. “He would, however, welcome the opportunity to testify at a public hearing.”
In a statement to Politico, Goodlatte’s office brushed aside the proposal and reiterated the committee stood ready to issue a subpoena if their request was not met.
“We have invited Mr. Comey to come in for a transcribed interview and we are prepared to issue a subpoena to compel his appearance,” a staffer for the House Judiciary Committee chair said.
On the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, President Donald Trump dismissed Comey as FBI director on May 9, 2017, citing the mishandling of the Clinton email investigation and ensuing “substantial” reputational damage the bureau suffered.