Ex-FBI director James Comey meeting with House committee behind closed doors

President Donald Trump

Former FBI Director James Comey appeared before a House committee on Friday to testify at a closed hearing.

But Comey relented to the closed-door interview after gaining a promise that a transcript of the session would be released to the public after 24 hours.

Comey had originally demanded that any interview before the joint panel of House Judiciary Committee and Oversight and Government Reform Committee members be conducted in public to avoid selective leaks. The hearing today - one that Comey had resisted - is an effort by House Republicans allied with President Trump to pin him down on issues important to them before Democrats take control of the majority in January. "We would be giving him a pass that I don't think he deserves", added Meadows.

Issa said that Comey should not be allowed to get away with leaving it at that.

"It's a waste of time to start with and there's nothing", said Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).

Gowdy and House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte threw cold water on that proposal, arguing that previous public hearings with witnesses, like one with former Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok this past summer, were a political farce as members from both parties used the high-profile nature of the interview to grandstand. Strzok defiantly fought with angry Republican lawmakers in a riveting hearing that featured Strzok reading aloud from his sometimes-lewd texts, and Democrats and Republicans openly yelling at each other. "The entire objective of this investigation is to cast aspersions on the real investigation which is Mueller".

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The interview comes as GOP lawmakers wrap up a yearlong investigation into decisions made at the Justice Department during the 2016 presidential election.

Citing a poll that has in the past given him more generous numbers than others have, President Donald Trump on Thursday tweeted that he'd have an even higher approval rating were it not for the Russian Federation investigation being led by special counsel Robert Mueller. Both Goodlatte and South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the oversight panel, are also retiring at the end of the year.

A transcript will be released "as soon as possible after the interview, in the name of our combined desire for transparency", Goodlatte said.

The report said the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, who announced in July 2016 that Clinton had been "extremely careless" with classified material but would not be charged with any crime, repeatedly departed from normal Justice Department protocol.

Comey was the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation until Trump dismissed him on May 9, 2017.

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