Comey agrees to semi-public testimony after dispute with Republican lawmakers
- Former FBI Director James Comey said Sunday he made a deal with Congressional Republicans on offering his testimony for the investigation of the FBI's handling of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
- The deal marks a backing off from a monthslong legal fight Comey has waged in order to testify publicly.
- House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte previously offered to publicly release Comey's testimony transcript and said Sunday he expected Comey to cooperate with Republican lawmakers.
Former FBI Director James Comey tweeted Sunday that he had made a deal with Congressional Republicans on offering his testimony for the FBI's handling of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
The deal marks a backing off from a legal fight over a subpoena from Republican lawmakers that would require him to answer questions about the FBI and decisions made during the 2016 presidential election.
"Grateful for a fair hearing from judge. Hard to protect my rights without being in contempt, which I don’t believe in," Comey wrote on Twitter, days after the hearing on his challenge of the subpoena.
"So will sit in the dark, but Republicans agree I’m free to talk when done and transcript released in 24 hours," he added. "This is the closest I can get to public testimony."
Comey has demanded that his testimony to the House Judiciary Committee be public. Committee chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte offered to publicly release the transcript of Comey's testimony, writing on Twitter that it would ensure "transparency and access for the American people to all the facts."
Goodlatte said in a Sunday morning Fox News appearance that he expected Comey to back off his challenge to the Republican-issued subpoena and speak with GOP lawmakers.
"That, of course, remains to be seen, it hasn't happened yet," Goodlatte admitted in the interview. "But the counsel for the House and the counsel for Mr. Comey have been working cooperatively and I expect that'll happen."
After receiving the subpoena from House Republicans in late November, Comey tweeted that he would object to a closed-door testimony because of "selective leaking and distortion" by the committee members.
The former FBI head wrote: "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."
Comey's testimony has been highly sought by Republican lawmakers and led Goodlatte to issue a subpoena last month after Comey declined requests in October from the Republican members of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees for testimony.