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Comey approves of Kavanaugh FBI investigation

Former FBI Director James Comey expressed his approval of the reopening of the bureau's background check into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, writing in a New York Times op-ed that the assigned deadline is "idiotic."

Posted: Oct 1, 2018 5:26 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2018 5:42 PM

Former FBI Director James Comey has rejected an invitation from congressional Republicans to be interviewed behind closed doors, but he said he would appear for a public hearing instead.

Comey's attorney David Kelley sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte and House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy stating that Comey "respectfully declines your request for a private interview."

"He would, however, welcome the opportunity to testify at a public hearing," Kelley wrote in the letter obtained by CNN.

According to a person familiar with the discussions between Comey and the House Judiciary Committee, Comey did not want selective leaks to occur regarding what was discussed behind closed doors with lawmakers, but instead preferred an open hearing where the public can hear his words directly.

In response to Comey's letter, a Judiciary Committee aide said Goodlatte is prepared to issue a subpoena for Comey to appear for a transcribed interview if he won't do so voluntarily.

Goodlatte and Gowdy are trying to talk to Comey and a number of other current and former FBI and Justice Department officials as part of their investigation into the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton email and Russia investigations.

Comey is at the center of both the Clinton and Russia investigations as former FBI director, between his decision to publicly discuss the Clinton probe and that his May 2017 firing led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Comey's last public appearance on Capitol Hill in June 2017 before the Senate Intelligence Committee was nothing short of a spectacle, where he described his private conversations with President Donald Trump ahead of his firing and how his memos memorializing those conversations were leaked to help prompt the appointment of a special counsel.

The House committees have done most of their interviews in a closed-door setting, but they grilled former FBI agent Peter Strzok publicly in a July hearing that devolved into a partisan shouting match at several points.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on the committee is also expected to speak to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein this month behind closed doors about his reported comments discussing wearing a wire to talk to Trump and recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.

Democrats have accused congressional Republicans of using the investigation as a way to undermine the Mueller investigation, arguing they're trying to provide a pretext for the firing of Rosenstein, who supervises the special counsel probe.

In addition to Comey, congressional Republicans requested interviews last month with two former senior Obama Justice Department officials: former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former Deputy acting Attorney General Sally Yates.

They're also seeking to talk to former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos and Fusion GPS' Glenn Simpson, who hired Christopher Steele to compile the opposition research dossier on Trump and Russia.

Simpson's attorney Joshua Levy also rejected the congressional invitation request, writing in a letter last week that the Republicans on the probe are "some of the President's staunchest protectors, who have misspent American taxpayers' dollars to undermine the special counsel's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election."

This month, the committees are also interviewing former FBI general counsel James Baker, who was a close adviser to Comey at the bureau, and Nellie Ohr, a Fusion GPS contractor married to Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, who was questioned himself last month.

Comey's attorney said in the letter to Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, and Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, that Comey would be able to testify publicly because he no longer has a security clearance.

"Given that Mr. Comey no longer has a security clearance, we do not anticipate the public setting to present concerns about the disclosure of classified information," Kelley wrote.

Kelly also wrote that Comey expected the committees to obtain approval from the FBI to disclose certain information — something that was an issue when Strzok testified in July.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 16560

Reported Deaths: 794
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds107426
Madison76728
Lauderdale75968
Neshoba72844
Jones70133
Scott66312
Forrest59539
DeSoto57510
Rankin4569
Leake45212
Holmes44330
Copiah3294
Jackson31415
Attala31118
Yazoo2964
Newton2884
Lincoln28031
Leflore27736
Oktibbeha27314
Harrison2697
Monroe26925
Wayne2623
Lamar2505
Lowndes2479
Pearl River21231
Pike20411
Adams20316
Washington1987
Warren19610
Lee1948
Noxubee1936
Covington1792
Bolivar16911
Jasper1674
Clarke15619
Smith15511
Kemper15511
Lafayette1544
Chickasaw14014
Coahoma1314
Clay1254
Winston1241
Carroll11911
Marion1169
Claiborne1155
Lawrence1071
Grenada1074
Simpson1040
Yalobusha1046
Sunflower923
Tate911
Hancock9012
Union897
Itawamba897
Marshall873
Wilkinson859
Panola843
Montgomery841
Webster844
Jefferson Davis823
Tippah7611
Calhoun674
Amite661
Walthall640
Humphreys637
Tunica583
Prentiss533
Perry513
Choctaw502
Pontotoc473
Jefferson421
Tishomingo360
Greene331
Stone320
Quitman320
Tallahatchie301
George292
Franklin292
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19073

Reported Deaths: 672
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2321118
Jefferson1901104
Montgomery185843
Tuscaloosa83616
Marshall7089
Franklin5858
Lee56234
Shelby52819
Tallapoosa43466
Butler42118
Walker3862
Elmore3749
Chambers36026
Madison3534
Unassigned3062
Morgan3021
Baldwin2939
Dallas2923
Lowndes26512
Etowah26312
DeKalb2573
Autauga2415
Coffee2391
Sumter2287
Houston2265
Bullock2176
Pike2120
Colbert1902
Hale1859
Russell1810
Barbour1771
Marengo1756
Lauderdale1722
Calhoun1673
Wilcox1577
Choctaw15310
Cullman1521
Clarke1492
St. Clair1351
Randolph1287
Dale1240
Marion12411
Pickens1205
Talladega1195
Limestone1080
Chilton1071
Greene954
Macon934
Winston910
Jackson833
Covington821
Henry822
Crenshaw783
Bibb761
Escambia753
Washington736
Blount631
Lawrence510
Monroe462
Geneva440
Perry430
Conecuh411
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar280
Fayette160
Cleburne151
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