Ex-FBI director Comey tries to quash subpoena over Clinton emails

Ex-FBI director Comey tries to quash subpoena over Clinton emails

Former FBI Director James Comey asked a federal court in Washington on November 29 to block a subpoena compelling him to appear for a closed-door interview with House lawmakers.

In court papers filed late Thursday afternoon in Washington, Comey's attorneys also asked for an order staying the closed-door congressional interview with members of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees that's scheduled for December 3 until the court rules.

The committees last week issued a subpoena to Comey and former attorney general Loretta Lynch, as part of their investigation of two politically charged probes into Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server and possible collusion with Russian Federation by Trump's campaign.

Representative Jerrold Nadler, who's in line to take over the Judiciary Committee when Democrats take control of the House in January, said earlier this week that he expected Comey would file to quash the subpoena.

The GOP-led House Judiciary Committee, attorney David Kelly argued, only wants to play politics and distort Comey's answers. Lynch was subpoenaed to answer questions in a closed-door session on Tuesday, the day after Comey.

"Try as he might, Mr. Comey may not condition his cooperation with a congressional investigation on the presence of television cameras", Hungar wrote.

The case initially was set to be heard by Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee, then was reassigned randomly to Judge Trevor McFadden, also a Trump appointee, after Kelly likely recused from the case.

The interview had been scheduled for Monday, but Comey's lawyers asked a judge Thursday to put off his appearance and also to spike the subpoena.

Republicans have alleged the FBI is biased against Trump, pointing to Comey's decision to publicly announce the FBI would not bring charges against Clinton, as well as text messages that disparaged Trump exchanged between two former FBI staff who worked on the email probe.

The narrative, they claim, is that Clinton has "committed serious crimes but was given unwarranted leniency", whereas the president has been "been saddled with unwarranted scrutiny, for purely partisan political reasons, by the same Federal Bureau of Investigation and DOJ". He said that the House was not looking to hold a private deposition due to concerns about national security or law enforcement information, but because the deposition process is more efficient. However, Comey is willing to make a testimony in public.

According to The New York Times, Trump wanted to order the Department of Justice to investigate Comey and Clinton, but the white house counsel repelled his decision out of worries that it would potentially create political clashes.

"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".

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