Sat, Dec 01, 2018 - Page 7 News List

Comey moves to block judiciary committee hearing

SETUP?House of Representatives committees tend to leak selective information and subject witnesses to ‘a variety of abuse,’ the former FBI director’s lawyers said

AP, WASHINGTON

Former FBI director James Comey on Thursday moved to block a subpoena from the Republican-led US House of Representatives, saying that the closed-door interview demanded by lawmakers would be selectively leaked for political purposes.

Comey was earlier this month subpoenaed by the House Committee on the Judiciary to discuss FBI actions and decisions in 2016, including the decision to not recommend criminal charges against former US secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton for her use of a private e-mail server.

The FBI that year also opened an investigation into potential coordination between Russia and then-US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign.

Comey, who has testified multiple times about both investigations on Capitol Hill, last week said that he would be happy to testify in a public hearing, but would refuse to appear at a closed-door, private interview.

The interview had been scheduled for Monday, but Comey’s lawyers asked a judge to put off his appearance and also to spike the subpoena.

As set forth in Comey’s motion to quash the subpoena, his lawyers wrote: “Mr Comey’s testimony will be subject to selective leaking by members of the Judiciary Committee in furtherance of the Committee’s abuse of these proceedings and harassment of witnesses who appear in closed-door depositions.”

They said that the House committees had been leaking to support a false political narrative, while subjecting the witnesses to a variety of abuse.”

They attached a series of news articles about closed-door congressional interviews that they said had been based on leaks.

Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte, who sent the subpoena, in the evening tweeted that Comey “believes he deserves special treatment, as he is the only witness refusing to either appear voluntarily or comply with a subpoena.”

“What is Director Comey trying to hide from the American people with his baseless motion to quash?” Goodlatte added.

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