Comey Frustrates Republicans During Closed-Door Hearing

Comey Frustrates Republicans During Closed-Door Hearing

The FBI launched investigations of four Americans in July 2016 into whether they helped Russia's alleged efforts to interfere in the 2016 USA presidential election, former FBI Director James Comey said in remarks released on Saturday.

"I'm not sure we needed to do this at all", Comey said after exiting his interview with the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), asked Comey "Is there any need to further investigate Hillary Clinton's emails based upon the decision that you made not to prosecute?"

The committee interviewed Comey as part of its investigation into the FBI and Justice Department actions during the election. Republicans are preparing a report detailing their findings before Democrats take control of the House in January.

The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director dropped his opposition to a closed-door hearing on December 2 after members of the Judiciary Committee panel agreed to provide a full transcript within 24 hours and said he would be permitted to make it public. "One - we could have done this in an open setting", Comey said. "But I'm trying to respect the institution and answer questions in a respectful way", he said after the hearing, adding in a tweet: "In the long run, it'll make no difference because facts are stubborn things".

Because there were no television cameras, the transcript is the only way to get a bead on what was said in the interview, which was not under oath, but where Comey was bluntly warned to be truthful.

Mr Comey also appeared to suggest the four investigations were looking into ties between Russian Federation and US President Donald Trump's election campaign.

President Trump started off Sunday morning with a series of tweets slamming former FBI Director James Comey's testimony last week during a closed-door questioning in front of Congress.

And he took umbrage with Trump's claim he is friends with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the the former FBI director who now leads the Russian Federation investigation.

An FBI lawyer said Comey could not answer a question about the sources used by Steele, arguing the sources for the infamous dossier - which contains allegations that the president is susceptible to blackmailing by Moscow - are still relevant to the special counsel investigation. Comey said that "some" of the initial targets were connected to the Trump campaign, but the campaign itself and the party's nominee were not targets.

'I admire the heck out of the man, but I don't know his phone number, I've never been to his house, I don't know his children's names, ' Comey said. Jerry Nadler, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, asked Comey. I think I had a meal once alone with him in a restaurant. In the back and forth between Comey and GOP lawmakers, at one point Comey was pressed to define the word "collusion, ' which has become a central flashpoint of the Russian Federation investigation".

Comey himself complained the proceedings were too focused on Clinton.

CNN reported this week on the circumstances that prompted McCabe to open an obstruction investigation in the wake of Comey's firing even before Mueller was appointed less than two weeks later.

"Don't do it in a dark corner and don't do it in a way where all you do is leak information", said Comey's attorney, David Kelley.

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