Comey to Testify In Secret, Withdraws Bid to Quash Congressional Subpoena

James Comey says he has agreed to 'sit in the dark'

Image James Comey says the deal is the closest he can get to public testimony

Comey announced the pending agreement during a Sunday morning tweet. "Hard to protect my rights without being in contempt, which I don't believe in", Comey said in a Twitter post.

He said that he will testify "in the dark" but that Republicans had agreed he is "free to talk when done and transcript released in 24 hours". "This is the closest I can get to public testimony".

The announcement arrives three days after Comey sued to stop the subpoena and two days after a court hearing to determine Comey's obligation to fulfill Congress' request.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, issued a statement Sunday that confirmed the plan.

The committee is expected to question Comey about decisions made by the FBI in 2016, including the FBI's investigations into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, and possible collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's presidential campaign.

House Republicans have also subpoenaed former Attorney General Loretta Lynch to testify about whether her conversations with former President Bill Clinton on a Phoenix tarmac influenced the Clinton investigation.

Comey also had asked McFadden to put an immediate halt to the joint committee proceedings that led to his subpoena, a request of the kind that no judge in USA history has ever granted.

Donald Trump meets James Comey in the White House in January
Image James Comey was dismissed by the president in May 2017

The Republican-led inquiry has been lambasted by Democrats as a partisan effort to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

But Hungar told the judge that Comey had been subpoenaed for a deposition, not a full committee hearing, and that depositions are always closed, whether in Congress or in civil suits around the country. Subpoenaed witnesses aren't entitled to dictate the terms under which they deliver testimony on Capitol Hill.

Moscow denies meddling and Mr Trump denies campaign collusion, calling the Mueller investigation a political witch hunt.

The Republican-led inquiry into the Federal Bureau of Investigation will be shuttered in the coming weeks, as Democrats prepare to take over control of the House of Representatives in January, having won the majority in November's congressional elections.

Kelley cited what he said were numerous leaks that distorted what witnesses said in closed session before the committees as the reason for the challenge.

The agreement came a day before lawyers were to appear at a court hearing. Comey initially went to court to fight it.

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