Comey said he will return for more questioning on Capitol Hill later this month, President Trump ripped into him for apparently declining…
Fox News: Former FBI Director James Comey said he will return for more questioning on Capitol Hill later this month, as President Trump ripped into him for apparently declining to answer certain questions on the advice of his attorneys during Friday’s closed-door session. Comey, who spent Friday testifying before House lawmakers, told reporters his return visit will likely come the “week after next.”
Fox News is told the second session with Comey could come Dec. 17. 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.
A key focus of questioning from lawmakers, Fox News is told, was Comey’s decision to draft the 2016 statement recommending against filing criminal charges in the Clinton email probe before the former secretary of state was even interviewed, as well as the alleged political bias demonstrated in a slew of text messages and leaks by top FBI officials.
Speaking to reporters, Comey said he’s willing to continue testifying, even as he suggested he didn’t think it was necessary. “When you read the transcript, you will see we are talking again about Hillary Clinton’s emails, for heaven’s sake, so I’m not sure we need to do this at all, but I’m trying to respect the institution and to answer questions in a respectful way,” Comey told reporters. “You’ll see I did that in the transcript.”
The committee is expected to release a transcript of the Comey interview as early as Saturday. After Friday’s session concluded, the president tore into Comey amid reports Comey’s lawyers, including one from the Justice Department, have prevented him from answering a number of questions.
“It is being reported that Leakin’ James Comey was told by Department of Justice attorneys not to answer the most important questions,” Trump said. “Total bias and corruption at the highest levels of previous Administration. Force him to answer the questions under oath!”
It is being reported that Leakin’ James Comey was told by Department of Justice attorneys not to answer the most important questions. Total bias and corruption at the highest levels of previous Administration. Force him to answer the questions under oath!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018
Earlier Friday, as the former FBI director was testifying, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told reporters that some lawmakers have been frustrated with the testimony and that Comey didn’t seem upset about being told by his lawyers that he doesn’t have to answer certain questions.
“One of the disappointments of this deposition so far has been the amount of times in which the FBI believes that Congress doesn’t have a right to know,” Issa said.
Issa said Comey has two attorneys, including one from the DOJ, who have “instructed” the former FBI director not to answer “a great many questions that are clearly items at the core of our investigation.” Issa said the instructions have been followed with Comey’s “gleeful acceptance.”
“The Department of Justice is going to have to agree to allow him to come back and answer a great many questions that currently he is not answering,” Issa said.
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