James Comey appears before House Judiciary Committee in closed session

President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The Republican-led committee interviewed Comey as part of its investigation into FBI actions in 2016.

The hearing happened on the same day as a number of significant developments in the special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

The FBI's counterintelligence investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia initially focused on four Americans and whether they were connected to Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

"Mr. Comey is the right witness, but here for the wrong questions", Krishnamoorthi said outside the hearing room, according to USA Today.

Comey resisted the calls to appear for a hearing while insisting that it be made public. Fittingly, a GOP member of the committee spoke to the media afterwards about how Comey wouldn't answer questions, at the direction of legal counsel.

Some Republicans complained that Justice Department lawyers stopped Comey from responding to certain questions. Republicans argue that department officials were biased against Trump as they started the investigation and cleared Clinton in a separate probe into her email use. President Trump's campaign chairman, top campaign aide, former national security advisor and longtime personal attorney are all cooperating in the inquiry, which the president calls a "witch hunt".

"It's a waste of time to start with", Nadler said.

He also complained that Comey's lawyers were preventing the former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief from answering some questions from lawmakers. Comey was in charge of both investigations.

Trump took to Twitter to slam his former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief. "The entire goal of this investigation is to cast aspersion on the real investigation, which is Mueller".

"Don't do it in a dark corner and don't do it in a way where all you do is leak information", said Comey's attorney, David Kelley.

Comey buckled over the weekend, announcing he would appear following assurances that a full transcript would get released and he could speak about what he had testified.

But Comey relented to the closed-door interview after gaining a promise that a transcript of the session would be released to the public after 24 hours.

The report said the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, who announced in July 2016 that Clinton had been "extremely careless" with classified material but would not be charged with any crime, repeatedly departed from normal Justice Department protocol.

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