James Comey, former FBI Director, decided Sunday to withdraw his challenge of a subpoena by Congress seeking his testimony regarding bureau decisions preceding the presidential elections in 2016.
Comey agreed to sit down with members of Congress on Friday to give a private deposition. The Judiciary Committee for the United States House of Representatives agreed to provide Comey with a full transcript of the deposition within 24 hours. Additionally, Comey will be given permission to make any parts of the transcript public if he desires. This information was provided by David Kelley who is a lawyer for Comey.
An FBI representative will also be present at the deposition to advise Comey on which FBI matters he is allowed to discuss.
The new agreement reached between Comey and Republicans was reached a day before lawyers were set to appear in court to argue Comey’s challenge to the subpoena. No judge has ever quashed a subpoena to stop a Congressional hearing in America.
The central theme to the situation is whether or not Comey can be compelled to give testimony into the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Congress also wants to obtain information from Comey regarding his investigation into possible collusion between Donald Trump and the Russian government during the 2016 elections.
Democrats have been highly critical of Republicans over what they see as a partisan campaign to smear an investigation by Robert Mueller into possible Russian interference in the election process in America.
Both Moscow and Donald Trump deny the accusations and characterize them as nothing more than a witch hunt.
Trump fired Comey as FBI director in May 2017. Lawmakers in Congress see Comey as a key witness into possible obstruction on the part of the Trump administration.
The Republican position is the FBI has displayed bias against Trump. They point to a decision by Comey to publicly announce the FBI would not pursue charges against Hillary Clinton as evidence. Republicans also believe the FBI acted in error when it applied for a warrant to place Carter Page under surveillance. Carter Page is a former campaign advisor for Donald Trump.
A report from an inspector general with the Justice Department was critical of Comey’s handling of the Clinton issue. However, the inspector general did not find the mishandling to be a result of political bias.
Loretta Lynch, former Attorney General, was also subpoenaed to appear in closed-door meetings.