Trump-Appointed Judge to Decide on Comey’s Motion to Block House Subpoena
Comey’s lawyer sparred with general counsel for the House of Representatives on Friday and urged a judge to block a subpoena requiring the former FBI Director to give a closed-door deposition before a House panel.
Fired FBI Director James Comey filed a lawsuit Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to quash a subpoena by the House Judiciary Committee to testify in a closed session on December 3 as part of a joint investigation with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee into the handling of the Clinton email investigation.
Comey, who admitted to leaking classified memos in order to prompt the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate President Trump, cited concerns his closed-door interview would be selectively leaked to damage him.
US District Judge, Trevor McFadden, who was appointed by Trump in 2017, seemed doubtful of Comey’s arguments.
Associated Press reported:
James Comey’s lawyer urged a judge Friday to block a subpoena requiring that the former FBI director submit to a private interview before a House panel, arguing that Republican lawmakers want to take shots in a “dark alley.”
But a lawyer for Congress said committees are free to conduct investigations as they please and that Comey, who is concerned that statements from a closed-door interview would be selectively leaked, had no right to refuse a subpoena and demand a public hearing.
“No federal district court judge in the history of the republic has granted the type of relief that Mr. Comey seeks,” said Thomas Hungar, general counsel for the House of Representatives.
U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden, an appointee of President Donald Trump, did not immediately rule and scheduled additional arguments for Monday, the day initially scheduled for the interview. He questioned both sides but appeared skeptical at time of Comey’s arguments and wondered aloud why Comey couldn’t respond to leaks he didn’t like with disclosures of his own.
House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte tore into Comey on Thursday calling his motion to quash the subpoena “baseless” and said the former FBI Director must appear before the Committees.
US District Judge Trevor McFadden scheduled additional arguments for Monday.