Former FBI director James Comey fights GOP congressional subpoena

A judge will hold a hearing Friday afternoon to address a motion made by former FBI director James Comey to quash a congressional subpoena that would see him testifying behind closed doors next week.

Comey was subpoenaed Nov. 21 by the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee, which, together with the House Oversight Committee, is investigating the FBI’s handling of the Russian election meddling probe and the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

Comey, who has testified about both subjects several times, previously said he would be willing to testify but that he would “resist a ‘closed door’ thing because I’ve seen enough of their selective leaking and distortion.”

U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden scheduled a hearing for 2 p.m. Friday in Washington, D.C., according to The Associated Press.

In the motion to quash Comey’s congressional subpoena, filed in court Thursday, attorneys for the former FBI director argued that “there is no legitimate reason why Mr. Comey cannot provide sworn, live public testimony about the matters under investigation.”

“Mr. Comey asks this Court’s intervention not to avoid giving testimony but to prevent the Joint Committee from using the pretext of a closed interview to peddle a distorted, partisan political narrative about the Clinton and Russian investigations through selective leaks,” attorneys said in Thursday’s motion.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, slammed Comey’s decision to fight the subpoena in a post Thursday on Twitter.

“It appears Mr. Comey believes he deserves special treatment, as he is the only witness refusing to either appear voluntarily or comply with a subpoena,” he wrote. “He needs to appear before the Committees, as all other witnesses have done. Let the facts come to light.”

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