James Comey files motion to kill congressional subpoena

Posted at 8:06 AM, Nov 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-30 10:06:43-05
James Comey
James Comey

Fired former FBI Director James Comey has filed a motion in federal court in an attempt to quash a congressional subpoena from a Republican-led House committee.

Retiring House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte issued a subpoena to Comey last week, with the clock ticking on Republican control of the House. Come January, Democrats, not Republicans, will wield the power to subpoena witnesses and call hearings.

Republicans have been investigating the FBI’s actions during the 2016 election, but Comey insists he will only testify in public — not behind closed doors.

“Today my legal team filed court papers to try to get transparency from House Republicans. Let the American people watch,” Comey tweeted Thursday afternoon.

The court filing also says Comey “welcomes” the opportunity to testify.

“Mr. Comey asks this court’s intervention not to avoid giving testimony but to prevent the joint committee from using the pretext of a closed interview to peddle a distorted, partisan political narrative about the Clinton and Russia investigations through selective leaks,” the court filing Thursday requesting the motion reads. “… Mr. Comey welcomes the opportunity to testify publicly about the Clinton and Russian investigations as he has done previously numerous times. He does not shy from public accountability for his time as director of the FBI.”

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch was also subpoenaed to testify.

Republicans are making the case that Comey testifying would become, as House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy put it, a “carnival.”

“The remedy for leaks is not to have a public hearing where you are supposed to ask about 17 months’ worth of work in five minutes,” Gowdy told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “I think the remedy is to videotape the deposition. That way, the public can see whether the question was fair. They could judge the entirety of the answer.”

The House Judiciary Committee has demanded Comey’s testimony Dec. 3.

Click here to read the motion.