Comey wins guarantee Congressional testimony will be made public

Jim Watson  AFP  Getty Images FILE

Jim Watson AFP Getty Images FILE

James Comey, former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, said Sunday he would agree to a private deposition with House Republicans.

Former FBI Director James Comey wrote on Twitter that he will testify privately before a House panel Monday on the condition that he will be able to speak freely afterward and that a public transcript will be released within 24 hours. "But I will resist a "closed door" thing because I've seen enough of their selective leaking and distortion".

Comey is set to receive a transcript of his testimony and will have the option of making public part or all of it.

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". Republicans on the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee pledged to provide Comey with a full transcript within 24 hours of his testimony, and he will be permitted to "make any or all of that transcript public", Comey's lawyer David Kelley told Reuters in a statement. "This is the closest I can get to public testimony", Comey tweeted.

The testimony will center on an investigation by Goodlatte and other House Republicans into the FBI and Justice Department's handlings of probes into former Secretary of State's Hillary Clinton's email practices and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Democrats have complained that the Republican-led inquiry is a partisan effort to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Russia-related claims.

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

Comey's lawyers argued that a closed hearing would allow for 'selective leaks, is abusive to witnesses, and furthers no legitimate congressional objective'. In addition to Comey, the committee is also seeking testimony from former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Comey also "moved on Sunday to withdraw his motion to quash the congressional subpoena", CNN reported.

Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the committee's retiring chairman, issued the subpoena to Comey the week of Thanksgiving, requiring his testimony in a closed setting during the final weeks of Republican control of the House. There was no need to use baseless litigation in an attempt to run out the clock on this Congress, and I am glad that it was withdrawn.

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