Former FBI Director James Comey has asked a USA court to quash House Republicans' subpoena for his testimony, saying he wants to testify in public rather than behind closed doors.
Comey, who has previously gotten grilled by both the House and Senate in public over his handling of the Clinton email scandal and his firing by President Donald Trump, has been ordered to appear December 3.
Representative Jerrold Nadler, who's in line to take over the Judiciary Committee when Democrats take control of the House in January, said earlier this week that he expected Comey would file to quash the subpoena.
In the court filing, Comey's lawyers alleged the committees were "leaking what suits them, " and - aided by President Trump's tweets - were trying to promote the public narrative that Clinton was given unwarranted leniency by federal law enforcement while Trump was hit with unwarranted scrutiny.
They also cite a history of leaks from similar meetings that serve to create a "corrosive narrative".
Hungar claimed no district court has ever quashed a congressional subpoena and argued that Congress has "absolute immunity" under the Constitution's Speech and Debate clause.
In a Monday interview with CNN's Erin Burnett on "Erin Burnett OutFront", Goodlatte rejected Comey's proposition for a public hearing, calling a it "not an appropriate forum" because it could reveal investigative details to other potential witnesses. Kelley says Comey is concerned statements from a private interview would be selectively leaked.
Comey's lawyers said in court papers that they fear a closed-door setting would lead to "selective leaking". "Let the American people watch".
The subpoena, issued last week, calls on Comey to testify as part of the congressional inquiry into allegations of anti-Trump bias that led to shutting down the probe of Hillary Clinton's private email server and the opening of the investigation into purported ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. Comey indicated at the time that he plans to challenge the subpoena.
"Happy Thanksgiving. Got a subpoena from House Republicans". Lynch was subpoenaed to answer questions in a closed-door session on Tuesday, the day after Comey. However, Comey's lawyer David Kelley argued that changing the date on such short notice would violate House rules.
Court documents reference presidential tweets and leaks of testimony given by Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and Bruce Ohr as evidence.
"I don't get a chance to say this often, but I do think Jim Comey is right", Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chairman of the House government oversight committee told CBS in an interview which aired on November 25.