Former FBI Director James Comey has received an unwanted thanksgiving gift from House Republicans: a subpoena to testify on Capitol Hill. The former spook wants the hearing done in public at an open session.
“Happy Thanksgiving,” Comey tweeted on Thursday. “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.”
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.
— James Comey (@Comey) November 22, 2018
House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) also issued a subpoena to Obama administration Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The two are to testify in early December, according to Politico, before Democrats take control over the House.
THANKSGIVING SUBPOENAS: The House Judiciary Committee officially sent subpoenas to James COMEY and Loretta LYNCH yesterday. Dems want their hearings to be public. pic.twitter.com/Emuvb4w5hB
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) November 22, 2018
House Republicans have been keen to grill Comey over allegations that anti-Trump bias led him to shut down the FBI’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s email server misuse. The Department of Justice’s own report into the issue concluded earlier this year that Comey’s decision to publicly announce that no charges would be filed against Clinton, followed by his decision to reopen the probe weeks before the election, violated agency policy and represented a “serious error of judgment.”
Comey’s record-keeping during meetings with Trump after the 2016 election is also on the table. Republicans allege that the former FBI Director leaked memos of these meetings to the New York Times via a friend, a maneuver that led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the opening of the ongoing ‘Russiagate’ investigation.
According to a senior FBI official cited by conservative watchdog Judicial Watch, every one of these memos was classified. Comey, on the other hand, claimed that they were his own private notes.
Fearful that the GOP-led panel could leak damaging excerpts from his testimony, Comey has called for the hearing to be conducted in the open, and his lawyer told Fox News that he will fight for this in court.
Loretta Lynch has come under fire for meeting with former President Bill Clinton in 2016 while his wife was under investigation.
“It is unfortunate that the outgoing Majority is resorting to these tactics,” Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler (New York) said in a statement Friday. Nadler, who is expected to take over leadership of the Judiciary Committee in January added that the subpoenas are “coming out of the blue.”
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