Former FBI Director James Comey appeared before a House committee on Friday to testify at a closed hearing. Comey had previously expressed displeasure over this idea, fearing “selective leaking” by Republicans. Fittingly, a GOP member of the committee spoke to the media afterwards about how Comey wouldn’t answer questions, at the direction of legal counsel.
“One of the disappointments of this deposition so far has been the amount of times in which the FBI believes that Congress doesn’t have a right to know,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said, according to Fox News.
Comey’s lawyers, one of whom is from the U.S. Department of Justice, is telling him not to answer “a great many questions that are clearly items at the core of our investigation,” Issa said.
The questions that are being asked at the hearing, which is expected to run through Friday afternoon, reportedly have to do with issues including reportedly political bias of FBI officials, Comey’s statement recommending no criminal charges against Hillary Clinton, and how he allegedly wrote it before Clinton was interviewed, flexibility that the Justice Department reportedly had with regards to Clinton’s advisers, and possibly also concerns that the FBI may have abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court system.
So far, it doesn’t seem like they’re getting very far, and according Issa, Comey isn’t too broken up about it. The California Republican said that Comey showed “gleeful acceptance” of his counsel’s instructions to remain silent on certain issues.
Issa said that Comey should not be allowed to get away with leaving it at that.
“The Department of Justice is going to have to agree to allow him to come back and answer a great many questions that currently he is not answering,” he said.
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