Comey challenges House Judiciary subpoena for closed-door testimony


Comey's legal team argues that the request for a closed-door testimony "exceeds a proper legislative objective, is issued in violation of House rules, and unduly prejudices and harasses the witness".

FILE - In this April 30, 2018, file photo, former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey speaks during a stop on his book tour in Washington.

Kennedy said Comey only wants to testify publicly to get attention and increase his brand, so he can charge more for speaking engagements.

The committees are now investigating two facets of the FBI's role in the last election: The agency's inquiries into former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's email server and any coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, according to Reuters. In theory, Comey could lose his court challenge and still win what he's seeking, if he manages to convince the judge to pause his subpoena until the House flips to Democratic control at year's end.

As set forth in Comey's motion to quash the subpoena, his lawyers wrote, "Mr. Comey's testimony will be subject to selective leaking by members of the Judiciary Committee in furtherance of the Committee's abuse of these proceedings and harassment of witnesses who appear in closed-door depositions".

His legal team also argues that Trump's criticisms, a combination of leaks and his tweets have created a "corrosive narrative" that could harm his credibility.

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It cites a Supreme Court case that grew out of the McCarthy hearings, and a ruling that if a subpoena is 'issued exclusively for sake of exposure or intimidation, then it exceeds the legislative function of Congress'.

According to court documents, the committee received the letter but "made no further response" until the latest subpoena.

He'd warned that he'd fight the subpoena on the same day he got it. I'm still happy to sit in the light and answer all questions, ' he wrote on Thanksgiving.

A week earlier, Comey tweeted, "I will resist a "closed door" thing because I've seen enough of their selective leaking and distortion".

Comey's lawyers even quote Oversight panel chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC, who said: 'I don't get the chance to say this very often, but I do think Jim Comey is right.