Former FBI Director James Comey recently found himself in an unusual position: he launched a legal suit against Republicans in Congress to resist a congressional subpoena so that he would not have to testify in a closed-door hearing.
The legal fight lasted a mere three days as Reuters reports Comey has entirely dropped the legal challenge and will comply with the subpoena.
According to the report, Comey withdrew the legal challenge as the result of an agreement scored between Comey and the House Judiciary Committee.
In the agreement, the committee will have to release a transcript of the interview and Comey will be allowed to release its contents. It is unclear if the committee will redact parts of the transcript prior to release:
Former FBI Director James Comey has dropped his legal challenge seeking to quash a Republican congressional subpoena and will agree to a closed-door deposition on Dec. 7 about the FBI’s decision making on investigations leading up to the 2016 presidential election, his lawyer told Reuters on Sunday.
As part of a new agreement with the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee, lawmakers have agreed to release a full transcript of Comey’s testimony within 24 hours, and he in turn is free to make all or part of it available to the public, his lawyer David Kelley said.
Comey took to social media and announced his decision to comply with the subpoena.
“Grateful for a fair hearing from judge. Hard to protect my rights without being in contempt, which I don’t believe in. So will sit in the dark, but Republicans agree I’m free to talk when done and transcript released in 24 hours. This is the closest I can get to public testimony,” Comey said in a tweet.
Here’s more on Comey’s decision to pull the suit, from the Washington Examiner:
At around the same time, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., told Fox News in an interview that he believed Comey would withdraw his motion to quash the subpoena and sit for a private hearing.
“That’s the expectation,” Goodlatte said. “That’s been the basis of discussions going on.”
A spokesperson for Goodlatte did not immediately return a request for comment.
Comey filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last week after he and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch received subpoenas from Goodlatte compelling them to sit for private depositions this week.
The subpoenas are part of a joint investigation by outgoing Republicans on the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees into decision-making by the Justice Department and FBI ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Comey said he would only testify publicly, citing “selective leaking and distortion.”
Court documents read: “James B. Comey respectfully submits this motion and memorandum in support to quash the congressional subpoena. As set forth below, the subpoena, which calls for a closed, non-public deposition of Mr. Comey, exceeds a proper legislative purpose, is issued in violation of House rules, and unduly prejudices and harasses the witness. This motion is accompanied by a related motion to stay any proceedings thereunder until this motion may be heard.”
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.