James Comey agrees to private testimony after legal challenge

James Comey agrees to private testimony after legal challenge

But Hungar told the judge that Comey had been subpoenaed for a deposition, not a full committee hearing, and that depositions are always closed, whether in Congress or in civil suits around the country. He said Republicans, who lead the committee, told him he's free to speak afterward and that a transcript would be released a day later.

But Mr. Comey filed a motion to halt their subpoena and delay the proceedings last week, with his attorney telling a federal judge on Friday he would talk publicly.

The announcement arrives three days after Comey sued to stop the subpoena and two days after a court hearing to determine Comey's obligation to fulfill Congress' request.

In a tweet Thursday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, called Comey's lawsuit "baseless".

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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. "Mr. Comey should agree to these terms and see that we have the same goal, which is to find the truth and seek transparency".

As Comey indicated in his tweet, he will receive a transcript of his testimony and will be free to make public all or part of the transcript as well as any of the questions asked during the interview, Kelley said. But Comey withdrew the lawsuit on Sunday after reaching an agreement with the GOP.

The Republican-led inquiry has been lambasted by Democrats as a partisan effort to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 USA election.

Comey, who was sacked by Trump in May 2017, is seen as an important witness into whether Trump tried to obstruct the special counsel's investigation.

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Moscow denies meddling and Trump denies campaign collusion, calling the Mueller investigation a political witch hunt.

Comey was due to appear Monday on the Hill, but Kelley disclosed in court that a new subpoena changed the deposition date to Tuesday.

In a legal brief and then in an oral argument before U.S. District Judge Trevor N. McFadden in Washington, Kelley said he anxious that if Comey's hearing were closed, Republicans would selectively leak parts of his deposition.

"Whatever the aim of House Republicans, they are likely feeling the need to act quickly before Democrats, who won control of the chamber in elections earlier this month, take over in January".

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In exchange for agreeing to testify, the committee will drop the subpoena.

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