Former FBI Director James Comey agrees to testify as long as it's made public when it's over
James Comey, the former director of the FBI, reached a deal to testify privately to the House Judiciary Committee, according to his attorney, David Kelley. Comey also agreed to withdraw his subpoena challenge as part of this deal.
For context, this decision comes after Kelley asked a federal judge for the interview to occur in a public setting, to avoid House Republicans giving selective leaks from Comey’s otherwise private testimony.
The response from a lawyer for Congress was that Comey’s request wouldn’t fly, as committees can hold investigations as they see fit. They went as far as to argue that Comey had no place in asking for a public hearing, and certainly not to refuse a subpoena.
Comey tweeted about the final decision, saying:
Grateful for a fair hearing from judge. Hard to protect my rights without being in contempt, which I donÃ¢Â€Â™t believe in. So will sit in the dark, but Republicans agree IÃ¢Â€Â™m free to talk when done and transcript released in 24 hours. This is the closest I can get to public testimony.
Ã¢Â€Â” James Comey (@Comey) December 2, 2018
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte also tweeted about the decision:
I have just offered to Director Comey that the Committees will publicly release the transcript of his testimony following the interview for our investigation. This ensures both transparency and access for the American people to all the facts.
Ã¢Â€Â” Bob Goodlatte (@RepGoodlatte) November 28, 2018