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.

Cases: 255125

Reported Deaths: 5574
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17197175
Hinds16280322
Harrison13502193
Rankin10749211
Jackson10407183
Lee8819141
Madison8262162
Jones6375110
Forrest5992119
Lauderdale5873180
Lowndes5381116
Lafayette496692
Lamar487565
Washington4800123
Bolivar3978108
Oktibbeha393880
Panola370779
Pontotoc365353
Monroe3543105
Warren353498
Union344760
Marshall342665
Neshoba3383152
Pearl River329799
Leflore3004105
Lincoln297685
Sunflower284969
Hancock273459
Tate272462
Alcorn264053
Pike263577
Itawamba262959
Scott246645
Yazoo245955
Prentiss245652
Copiah241949
Tippah241750
Simpson235767
Coahoma233754
Leake231164
Grenada218470
Covington213071
Marion212072
Adams205870
Wayne201331
Winston200564
George199338
Attala193759
Newton192842
Tishomingo186359
Chickasaw183944
Jasper170835
Holmes168767
Clay159433
Stone143621
Tallahatchie141034
Clarke138960
Calhoun136121
Smith120823
Yalobusha117034
Walthall112336
Noxubee110522
Greene110229
Montgomery109634
Carroll104521
Lawrence102617
Perry102231
Amite98025
Webster92424
Tunica86721
Claiborne86625
Jefferson Davis84825
Humphreys83024
Benton81823
Kemper77220
Quitman6918
Franklin66615
Choctaw60513
Wilkinson58425
Jefferson54319
Sharkey43017
Issaquena1596
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 424028

Reported Deaths: 6121
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62258921
Mobile30381549
Madison27160186
Tuscaloosa20779267
Montgomery19049305
Shelby18572114
Baldwin16346182
Lee12515101
Morgan12260113
Etowah11757168
Calhoun11161200
Marshall10199107
Houston8630148
Cullman8036105
Limestone802874
Elmore7849101
DeKalb768897
Lauderdale760083
St. Clair7555120
Talladega6180108
Walker5903174
Jackson581341
Colbert533573
Blount530883
Autauga519855
Coffee443956
Dale398581
Franklin367548
Chilton337665
Russell331710
Covington327768
Escambia319342
Dallas303396
Chambers284269
Clarke282133
Tallapoosa2617107
Pike249429
Marion246250
Lawrence244247
Winston227335
Bibb216247
Geneva202535
Marengo199729
Pickens197031
Hale176442
Barbour173036
Butler170258
Fayette169026
Cherokee160530
Henry154421
Monroe145617
Randolph140735
Washington137726
Clay126745
Crenshaw119544
Lamar118219
Cleburne117723
Macon115035
Lowndes110735
Wilcox103121
Bullock99128
Perry97719
Conecuh94420
Sumter89126
Greene76123
Coosa60515
Choctaw51524
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