Comey Makes a Deal With House Republicans to Testify

James Comey says he has agreed to 'sit in the dark'

Former FBI Director James Comey said Sunday he will comply with a congressional subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee for a closed-door hearing on the FBI's actions during the 2016 election.

Comey, whose lawyers went to court to challenge a congressional subpoena, said in a tweet that it was "hard to protect my rights without being in contempt". "So will sit in the dark, but Republicans agree I'm free to talk when done and transcript released in 24 hours", Comey tweeted from his account.

Under the agreement, Comey will withdraw his legal motion and the committee will withdraw its subpoena, according to the report.

They will likely ask him about the FBI's decisions in 2016 that determined the outcome of a investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's illicit use, while secretary of state, of a private email server where more than 100 classified documents were open to unfriendly governments' prying eyes. Bob Goodlatte, the Republican head of the House Judiciary Committee, to appear before the panel.

In a legal brief and then in an oral argument before U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden in Washington, Kelley said he anxious that if Comey's hearing were closed, Republicans would selectively leak parts of his deposition.

Donald Trump meets James Comey in the White House in January
Image James Comey was dismissed by the president in May 2017

Comey has received a subpoena from the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee before.

Trump fired Comey past year on the grounds that Comey had mishandled the Clinton case, with both then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein sending memos expressing agreement with the decision.

Kelley accused lawmakers of pushing for a closed hearing so they can selectively leak portions of Comey's testimony to undermine Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the election.

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". In addition to Comey, the committee is also seeking testimony from former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

"It appears Mr. Comey believes he deserves special treatment, as he is the only witness refusing to either appear voluntarily or comply with a subpoena", Goodlatte wrote.

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