James Comey, the former director of the FBI, asked a federal judge Thursday to block a subpoena from Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight Committee.
Both Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch received the summons last Wednesday from GOP lawmakers who are investigating the FBI’s role in the 2016 presidential election. Republicans have ordered that both testify in closed-door depositions next week as part of the inquiry, which will likely end after Democrats take control of the committee in January when the new Congress is sworn in.
Comey has said he’d be willing to speak to lawmakers but would push that such testimony be made in public.
“Let the American people watch,” Comey wrote in a tweet on Thursday evening.
Comey’s attorneys argued in the request Thursday that Republicans had “abused their powers with selective leaks” of information to further their political agenda, saying that, by doing so, lawmakers had “unfairly prejudiced” prior witnesses.
“The obvious way to eliminate selective and inaccurate leaks and to curb the potential for abusive conduct by the Joint Committees is to make these proceedings open to the public,” Comey’s lawyers wrote. “The clear pattern of leaks and other comments by members of the Joint Committees make plain that the request for secrecy in these interviews is not about secrecy, but a mechanism to permit selective and biased exposure of testimonial snippets.”
The committees are currently 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 Russia, according to Reuters.
Comey has come under fire for this request due to the fact he ‘selectively leaked’ information himself:
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