James Comey to Testify Before House Committee
- Author: Rogelio Becker Dec 08, 2018,
Dec 08, 2018, 0:52
He noted that the last time Comey publicly testified before Congress, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director responded almost 100 times with some variation of, "I can not answer that question in this setting".
And Comey's lawyer recently explained that his client did not want his words to be "twisted" by Republicans, which appears to be exactly what Trump has done. He repeated his desire for the testimony to be in an "open setting", but said he would testify in private, as desired by House Republicans.
The hours-long Capitol Hill grilling comes amid turbulence at the White House, and mounting intrigue over Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible contacts between Trump's presidential campaign and Moscow.
The California Republican said that Comey showed "gleeful acceptance" of his counsel's instructions to remain silent on certain issues.
"That's a very teeny part of what we talked about - a whole lot of Hillary Clinton emails, which will bore you", he said. "You'll see I did that in the transcript".
A report released this June from the Justice Department's internal watchdog said Comey was "insubordinate" in his handling of the Clinton email investigation in the final months of the 2016 campaign.
House Republicans have faced criticism - even from GOP Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy, who is co-leading the effort - throughout their probe for breaking confidentiality agreements and selectively leaking portions of witnesses' answers that are often misleading without proper context. "Total bias and corruption at the highest levels of previous Administration".
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told reporters that "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", according to Fox News.
"It's a waste of time to start with and there's nothing", said Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).
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. "[T] here is an incredible amount of things that reasonably the public will need to know that the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation attorney are guiding him not to answer".
Issa suggested the committee might bring Comey back because he wasn't answering questions.
Committee lawyers fought back at Comey's "grandiose" arguments, saying he wanted to 'dictate the terms of his appearance by demanding a public hearing'. "I know he's an institutionalist who cares deeply about the integrity of the Justice Department".
"I like and respect Bill Barr", he said.