Although Republicans will soon lose control of the U.S. House of Representatives, they’re keeping at their efforts to leverage their currently held majority for an investigation into the nation’s justice system, which they’ve relentlessly slandered with allegations of corruption. To that end, House Republicans subpoenaed former FBI Director James Comey a couple of weeks ago — and he’s now agreed to testify.
On Twitter, he explained:
‘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.’
He had previously unveiled a legal challenge to the subpoena because he did not want to get swept into the GOP’s attempt to paint the Department of Justice as corrupt, and a judge had been set to rule on that challenge this Monday.
Comey’s solution to the looming problem of Republican propaganda was for his testimony to be public, but that’s not what Republicans had in mind. Republicans floated options to accommodate him through other means like having his testimony videotaped and releasing a transcript of their interactions — and for now, Comey is going along with plans for the latter. He’ll testify Tuesday.
Previously, there have been issues with Republicans including President Donald Trump himself selectively leaking pieces of information related to the scrutinized Department of Justice officials. For instance, the president has wrongfully indicated that a connection between DOJ lawyer Bruce Ohr and the man responsible for the infamous Fusion GPS ‘Trump dossier’ warrants concern about the department’s Russia investigation.
Similarly, outgoing House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) has wrongfully painted the political nature of that dossier as driving the core of the Russia investigation.
Comey previously made it clear that even in light of these issues, he wasn’t opposed to testifying, but he did not want to make his words vulnerable to similar propagandizing.
He’s testified to Congress before — publicly, at that. In June, shortly after the president fired him and jumpstarted allegations of obstruction of justice, he appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
That body grilled him on issues of his interactions with the president, including the former FBI director’s claim that Trump had adamantly sought to put an end to the Russia investigation through behind the scenes maneuvering.
In the time since, the wild breadth of the president’s ambitions to that end have become even more clear — but the Russia investigation marches on anyway.
While House Republicans will soon lose their power to investigate individuals like Comey, Democrats will be garnering the power to pick up their arm of the Russia investigation where the GOP left off.
Meanwhile, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is continuing full force, just recently garnering a guilty plea from yet another former Trump associate, Michael Cohen. The lawyer had lied about the intensity of Trump efforts to put a Trump Tower in Moscow — which the president defended as “very legal and very cool.”
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