Comey will testify at closed-door hearing, transcript to be public

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Former FBI Director James Comey withdrew his legal objection on Sunday to a congressional subpoena for his closed-door testimony, opening the door at the last minute for House Republicans to grill him about a range of controversies with their last gasp of majority power.

'Grateful for a fair hearing from judge. Republicans on the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee pledged to provide Comey with a full transcript within 24 hours of his testimony, and he will be permitted to "make any or all of that transcript public", Comey's lawyer David Kelley told Reuters in a statement. "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".

His lawyer said an "accommodation" had been reached and that more details would be available later. Comey argued that House Republicans would seek to leak information that painted Comey, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Democratic party in a negative light without providing context for his answers.

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The Republican-led inquiry has been lambasted by Democrats as a partisan effort to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 USA election.

The committee is expected to question Comey about decisions made by the FBI in 2016, including the FBI's investigations into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, and possible collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's presidential campaign.

Trump fired Comey previous year on the grounds that Comey had mishandled the Clinton case, with both then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein sending memos expressing agreement with the decision.

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

Comey agreed to sit down for a closed-door deposition on Friday. Comey initially went to court to fight it.

"We will release the transcript of his interview to the public as soon as possible after the interview, in the name of our combined desire for transparency". In addition to Comey, the committee is also seeking testimony from former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

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