Graham ‘surprised’ Comey will testify publicly

Graham ‘surprised’ Comey will testify publicly
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Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamGraham: Calling climate change a 'hoax' bad for GOP Graham: Comey should be held accountable for acting on bad intel Trump got harsher GOP reception than Bush on budget MORE (R-S.C.) said Friday that he was "surprised" that former FBI Director James Comey had agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee after a special counsel was appointed to oversee the FBI's Russia investigation.

"I very much appreciate former FBI Director Comey's willingness to publicly testify about his conversations with President Trump and other relevant matters," Graham said in a statement. "I am surprised he will do so given the fact we now have a Special Counsel who will likely be investigating matters related to their conversations."

But Graham also called for Comey to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which the South Carolina Republican sits on, noting that his panel has oversight of the FBI.

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"The Judiciary Committee has primary responsibility for FBI oversight," Graham said. "I certainly want former Director Comey to be able to tell his side of the story in regards to President Trump."

"I also want to ask him about the massive and repeated leaks coming from the FBI," he added.

Comey agreed on Friday to testify before the intelligence panel, which is conducting an investigation into Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 election, as well as possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

The Judiciary Committee had also invited Comey to testify, but the leaders of that panel said Friday that Comey had declined their invitation. Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyDems plot recess offensive on ObamaCare The case for protecting America's intelligence agency whistleblowers Senate confirms Trump's first lower-court nominee MORE (R-Iowa) and ranking member Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinThe case for protecting America's intelligence agency whistleblowers Senate confirms Trump's first lower-court nominee Feinstein: Comey memos 'going to be turned over' MORE (D-Calif.) called Comey's refusal "extremely disappointing."

Comey was abruptly fired by Trump last week, setting off a whirlwind of controversial revelations for the White House, including reports that Trump had asked Comey in February to end the FBI's investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. 

Following outcry over Comey's dismissal, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee the federal probe into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.