Ex-FBI head Comey drops challenge to US House panel subpoena

Ex-FBI head Comey drops challenge to US House panel subpoena

Ex-FBI head Comey drops challenge to US House panel subpoena

Comey, whose lawyers went to court to challenge a congressional subpoena, said in a tweet that it was "hard to protect my rights without being in contempt". "This is the closest I can get to public testimony". "Mr. Comey chose to file a motion to quash despite clear Supreme Court precedent setting forth Congress' authority to issue subpoenas compelling testimony before its committees".

Comey made the announcement on Twitter after saying he reached a deal with Republicans to make the private testimony after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., agreed to make his comments public in their entirety after the hearing.

Goodlatte and other House Republicans have been investigating the FBI and Justice Department's handling of separate probes into Hillary Clinton's email practices and Russian interference in the 2016 election, and with just a few weeks left before he leaves Congress, Goodlatte has moved to compel testimony from Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

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

Comey insisted he would only testify in public, not behind closed doors.

Lawyers for the U.S. House of Representatives consented to Comey's move to drop the case.

Democrats have said the Republican-led inquiry is an attempt to undermine the inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election by Special Counsel Robert Mueller - himself a former Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

Comey has also previously testified on Capitol Hill about both the Clinton and Russian Federation investigations.

"If Mr. Comey's deposition were to be stayed, it would have a profound impact on the Committee's investigation and prevent the Committee from providing a full accounting of DOJ's actions in 2016".

The Kremlin has denied meddling in the USA elections, and Trump denies colluding with Moscow, repeatedly calling the Mueller probe a political "witch hunt" with no basis in fact.

Comey's lawyers argued that a closed hearing would allow for 'selective leaks, is abusive to witnesses, and furthers no legitimate congressional objective'.

Comey has received a subpoena from the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee before.

Mr Kelley argued in court last Friday that Republicans are violating US House rules by not holding a public hearing where all committee members can ask questions.

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