Friday, 14 December, 2018

James Comey testifies in closed-door session with House judiciary committee

Alex Wong  Getty Images North America Alex Wong Getty Images North America
Kenny Thornton | 07 December, 2018, 22:43

Comey had fought the congressional subpoena in court, pushing for a public hearing before settling for some concessions.

Under a deal struck with the Judiciary Committee, Comey was to be free to speak about Friday's questioning afterward and a transcript was to be released.

"It appears that the two committees conducting the investigation have reached the conclusion and then said, 'Let's bring some witnesses in here and we'll do it in private and we'll take snippets of their testimony, we'll mold it into a mosaic that fits our political narrative... and that's what we're going to release to the public, not the unfiltered testimony, '" David Kelley, Comey's attorney, said Monday. "We would be giving him a pass that I don't think he deserves", added Meadows.

Comey's lawyers, one of whom is from the U.S. Department of Justice, is telling him not to answer "a great many questions that are clearly items at the core of our investigation", Issa said. A total Witch Hunt, ' the president tweeted at 6:18 a.m.

"One of the disappointments of this deposition so far has been the amount of times in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation believes that Congress doesn't have a right to know", Issa said.

Over the past year, Republicans on the two committees have called in a series of officials and suggested after the closed-door meetings that there is evidence of bias. "The entire goal of this investigation is to cast aspersions on the real investigation which is Mueller".

As he walked down one of the Capitol corridors, he was asked about Trump's morning Twitter claim that he is "best friends" with special counsel Robert Mueller - part of Trump's attack that Mueller is 'highly conflicted'.

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Gowdy and House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte threw cold water on that proposal, arguing that previous public hearings with witnesses, like one with former Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok this past summer, were a political farce as members from both parties used the high-profile nature of the interview to grandstand.

Strzok defiantly fought with angry Republican lawmakers in a riveting hearing that featured Strzok reading aloud from his sometimes-lewd texts and Democrats openly yelling at their Republican counterparts.

"Why "Mr. Transparency" wants to go back to a setting where he knows he can not answer the questions is befuddling to me, and I don't think my fellow citizens buy that", Gowdy said.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte, R-Va., decried Comey's use of "baseless litigation" and called it an "attempt to run out the clock on this Congress", a reference to the few weeks left before Democrats take control.

Both Goodlatte and Issa are retiring at the end of this session, with Issa having been nominated in September for a post in Trump's Trade and Development Agency.

During the closed-door hearing, GOP members were expected to focus on how FBI and Justice Department handled the Hillary Clinton email probe and launch of the Russian Federation investigation surrounding President Trump.

Comey's last appearance before lawmakers was 18 months ago, at a public hearing in June 2017. Yet it did not second-guess his conclusion that Clinton should not have been prosecuted, despite assertions by Trump and his supporters that anyone less politically connected would have been charged.

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