Former FBI Director James Comey on Sunday withdrew his effort to quash a congressional subpoena to compel his closed-door congressional testimony after reaching an agreement with the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight Committee that he would be provided a transcript of his testimony that he can release to the public.
“Mr. Comey appreciates the Court’s attention to the above-captioned matter, but has now reached an acceptable accommodation with U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary for voluntary testimony,” Comey’s lawyers wrote in a court filing Sunday. The former FBI director tweeted about the deal as well, writing, “This is the closest I can get to public testimony.”
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.
— James Comey (@Comey) December 2, 2018
According to text of the agreement between Comey and the Judiciary Committee shared with TPM, a transcript will be made available within 24 hours, “or as soon as is reasonably practical.” (Read the full agreement below.)
He sued quash the subpoena, expressing his wariness of “selective leaking” being used to paint a distorted partisan picture of his testimony. Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte tweeted Wednesday that he had told Comey the transcript of his testimony would be published publicly.
I have just offered to Director Comey that the Committees will publicly release the transcript of his testimony following the interview for our investigation. This ensures both transparency and access for the American people to all the facts.
— Bob Goodlatte (@RepGoodlatte) November 28, 2018
A federal judge heard arguments from both sides on Friday, the day after Comey’s legal filing.
Comey’s lawyer David Kelly shared the text of his agreement with the committees with TPM. Read it below:
Mr. Comey and the House Judiciary Committee have reached the following accommodation concerning the Judiciary Committee’s subpoena for Mr. Comey’s testimony:
- Mr. Comey has agreed to sit for a voluntary interview on December 7, 2018;
- The Judiciary Committee will make available to Mr. Comey a full transcript of that testimony within 24 hours of his testimony or as soon as is reasonably practicable;
- Mr. Comey is free to make any or all of that transcript public as he is free to share with the public any of the questions asked and testimony given during the interview;
- So long as the interview proceeds as a voluntary interview an FBI representative will be present to advise concerning the disclosure of FBI information;
- In light of the mutual agreement on these conditions, Mr. Comey will withdraw his motion to quash and the Judiciary Committee will withdraw the subpoena for his testimony.
H/t Associated Press.