Comey reaches agreement with Republicans for testimony

Former FBI director James Comey will testify before Congress in private this week after reaching a deal with Republicans and dropping his challenge to a House subpoena.

His lawyer, David Kelly, confirmed to The Hill that Comey had reached an agreement to testify on Friday.

Comey tweeted earlier Sunday that he had reached a deal with Republican lawmakers regarding his testimony, which he wanted to give in a public hearing.

“Grateful for a fair hearing from judge. Hard to protect my rights without being in contempt, which I don’t believe in,” Comey wrote on Twitter, following a hearing on his challenge.

“So will sit in the dark, but Republicans agree I’m free to talk when done and transcript released in 24 hours,” he added. “This is the closest I can get to public testimony.”

Comey in a court filing also withdrew a motion to quash the subpoena. [Read the filing below.]

{mosads}The House Judiciary Committee chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), last week offered to publicly release a transcript of Comey’s closed-door testimony if he agreed to appear.

Comey had earlier demanded that his testimony before the committee regarding the FBI’s conduct surrounding the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election be public.

A committee aide confirmed to The Hill that an agreement had been reached, adding that the panel believed it would have prevailed had Comey continued to wage his legal battle.

Goodlatte told Fox News earlier on Sunday that he expected Comey to agree to speak with congressional Republicans.

“I expect that later today Mr. Comey will withdraw his motion to quash our subpoena and agree to voluntarily appear for a transcribed interview,” Goodlatte said.

“That of course remains to be seen, it hasn’t happened yet, but the counsel for the House and the counsel for Mr. Comey have been working cooperatively and I expect that’ll happen.”

A judge intended to rule on Comey’s challenge to the subpoena on Monday morning, barring a deal.

Comey’s legal team had argued that the GOP would try to “peddle a distorted, partisan political narrative about the Clinton and Russia investigations through selective leaks” if he was not interviewed publicly.

Thomas Hungar, the general counsel for the House of Representatives, had challenged the legitimacy of Comey’s legal push, saying it was unprecedented for courts to block congressional efforts to subpoena a witness.

House Republicans have sought Comey’s testimony for months.

In October, the former FBI director declined requests from the GOP members of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees for his testimony, leading Goodlatte to issue a subpoena two weeks ago.

The subpoena originally requested that Comey appear to testify Monday, but the committees later said they wanted to speak with him Tuesday.

Read Comey motion by kballuck1 on Scribd

— Updated 1:30 p.m.

Tags Bob Goodlatte James Comey James Comey

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