Published: Sun, December 09, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

House Committee Releases Transcript of Interview With Ex-FBI Head Comey

House Committee Releases Transcript of Interview With Ex-FBI Head Comey

He also criticized the president for attacking the Federal Bureau of Investigation, saying that he was concerned citizens had been "lied to by the President and his supporters about the nature and quality of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation".

The House Judiciary Committee has released the transcript of former FBI Director James Comey's testimony in a closed session before the committee on Friday.

When asked how confident was he that Mueller would conduct his investigation thoroughly, Comey replied, "There are not many things I would bet my life on". Although Republicans have blamed Strzok for trying to undermine Trump's candidacy, Comey said in the hearing that he found that characterization hard to believe.

In offering some details of the investigation's origins, Comey said it had started in July 2016 with a look at "four Americans who had some connection to Mr. Trump during the summer of 2016" and whether they were tied to "the Russian interference effort".

Under the deal struck with the judiciary committee, Comey was to be free to speak about Friday's questioning and a transcript was to be released soon afterward. That year, the FBI recommended against criminal charges for Clinton and opened an investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

The questioning largely centered on well-covered territory from a Justice Department inspector general report, Comey's own book and interviews and hours of public testimony on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said he will end this investigation - which is officially supposed to be examining DOJ and FBI actions in the lead-up to the 2016 elections - when he takes over the committee chairmanship in January.

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"Note that I smiled", Comey said.

The hearing happened on the same day as a number of significant developments in the special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

Comey did not identify the Americans, but said U.S. President Donald Trump himself was not one of them.

"It's a shocking suggestion coming from any senior official, no less the president".

He called it "a waste of time to start with" and said the "entire objective of this investigation is to cast aspersions on the real investigation which is Mueller". "The entire objective of this investigation is to cast aspersions on the real investigation ... there is no evidence whatsoever of bias at the FBI or any of this other nonsense".

Comey, who has testified publicly on Capitol Hill about both the Clinton and Russian Federation investigations, balked at the subpoena because he said committees were prone to selectively reveal information for political purposes.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte, R-Va., decried Comey's use of "baseless litigation" and called it an "attempt to run out the clock on this Congress", a reference to the few weeks left before Democrats take control. He has praised former Justice Department official Sally Yates for defying an executive order and reportedly attended then-Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night party, leading conservative critics to allege a bias against President Trump. Yet it did not second-guess his conclusion that Clinton should not have been prosecuted, despite assertions by Trump and his supporters that anyone less politically connected would have been charged.

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