Comey will testify at closed-door hearing, transcript to be public

Comey will testify at closed-door hearing, transcript to be public

Comey said in a tweet Sunday that it was "hard to protect my rights without being in contempt" and that he will "sit in the dark".

He later withdrew his petition on Sunday, agreeing to sit down for the deposition with the ability to release a transcript to the public within 24 hours.

Former FBI Director James Comey has agreed to testify in private before the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, December 7th, after a fight with Republicans on the committee over whether the hearing would be open to the public.

House republicans are investigating how the FBI and the Department of Justice handled investigations into Hillary Clinton's email practices, as well the investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Comey is then "free to make any or all of that transcript public as he is free to share with the public any of the questions asked and testimony given during the interview".

Former FBI Director James Comey withdrew his legal objection on Sunday to a congressional subpoena for his closed-door testimony, opening the door at the last minute for House Republicans to grill him about a range of controversies with their last gasp of majority power.

"Mr. Comey will join us for a closed-door transcribed interview later this week". The hearing won't require that level of secrecy because no sensitive law enforcement information is expected to be discussed, Comey's team said.

The Republican-led inquiry has been lambasted by Democrats as a partisan effort to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 USA election.

Lawyers for the committee ridiculed Comey on Friday for his "grandiose demand" to offer testimony in public, where TV cameras would turn his answers into endlesly replayde video clips.

Moscow denies meddling and Trump denies campaign collusion, calling the Mueller investigation a political witch hunt.

"The counsel for the House and the counsel for Mr. Comey have been working cooperatively, and I expect that will happen".

Comey tweeted he was "grateful for a fair hearing" from the judge.

But Thomas Hungar, a lawyer for the U.S. House of Representatives, said a 1975 Supreme Court case known as Eastland v. U.S. Servicemen's Fund made it clear that the Speech or Debate Clause in the U.S. Constitution provides for complete immunity for the issuance of such subpoenas.

The Republican-led inquiry into the Federal Bureau of Investigation is in a race against time to produce conclusions because it will be shut down as Democrats prepare to take over control of the House of Representatives in January. In addition to Comey, the committee is also seeking testimony from former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

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