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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: 111322

Reported Deaths: 3202
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7796173
DeSoto670178
Harrison484483
Jackson435081
Rankin383786
Madison373993
Lee344979
Forrest296377
Jones283782
Washington252197
Lafayette242642
Lauderdale2376131
Lamar217138
Bolivar198377
Oktibbeha195854
Neshoba1814111
Lowndes174962
Panola166337
Leflore160787
Sunflower157649
Warren152755
Monroe145972
Pontotoc143819
Pike137256
Lincoln135555
Copiah135036
Marshall134826
Scott123829
Coahoma123436
Grenada120038
Yazoo119333
Simpson118649
Union115225
Holmes113560
Leake113340
Tate113239
Itawamba110424
Pearl River108958
Adams104343
Prentiss102619
Wayne98721
Alcorn96012
George93917
Marion92942
Covington92525
Tippah85921
Newton84427
Chickasaw82625
Winston82221
Tallahatchie81825
Tishomingo79341
Hancock78127
Attala77626
Clarke72349
Clay67621
Jasper67417
Walthall63327
Calhoun61412
Noxubee59617
Smith58316
Claiborne53216
Montgomery52923
Tunica52217
Lawrence49914
Yalobusha49314
Perry48122
Carroll46312
Greene45518
Stone45014
Amite41713
Quitman4146
Humphreys41216
Jefferson Davis39811
Webster36613
Wilkinson33020
Kemper32015
Benton3154
Sharkey27814
Jefferson27010
Franklin2373
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22563372
Mobile14335314
Tuscaloosa10023133
Montgomery9759196
Madison904893
Shelby709960
Lee644966
Baldwin640569
Marshall428248
Calhoun412759
Etowah405749
Morgan396833
Houston364632
DeKalb319628
Elmore310752
St. Clair282142
Limestone270828
Walker268892
Talladega258435
Cullman227623
Lauderdale208740
Autauga201029
Jackson200915
Franklin199731
Colbert192228
Russell19053
Dallas185627
Blount184824
Chilton181731
Escambia171328
Coffee16669
Covington166029
Dale163451
Pike130512
Chambers130143
Tallapoosa128686
Clarke127117
Marion104729
Butler99840
Barbour9889
Marengo97221
Winston90413
Geneva8417
Pickens80517
Lawrence80031
Randolph79814
Bibb79114
Hale74529
Cherokee72214
Clay71912
Lowndes70127
Henry6376
Bullock63517
Monroe6319
Washington62212
Crenshaw59330
Perry5806
Wilcox55912
Conecuh55713
Fayette55312
Cleburne5287
Macon52820
Sumter46721
Lamar4565
Choctaw38712
Greene33916
Coosa1973
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