Assured That He Can Release Transcript, Comey Agrees To Closed-Door Testimony

FBI Director James Comey pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing: "Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation." (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
December 2, 2018 2:06 p.m.

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.”

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.)

After being subpoenaed in late November to appear before the committees in early December, Comey objected publicly to the prospect of testifying behind closed doors.

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.

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:

  1. Mr. Comey has agreed to sit for a voluntary interview on December 7, 2018;
  2. 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;
  3. 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;
  4. So long as the interview proceeds as a voluntary interview an FBI representative will be present to advise concerning the disclosure of FBI information;
  5. 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.

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