FBI Lawyer Prevented 'Evasive' James Comey From Answering Key Questions, Republicans Say
House Republicans were left frustrated after former FBI Director James Comey's lawyers prevented him from answering a number of key questions during Friday’s closed-door testimony before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, according to reports.
The committees are expected to release a transcript of the deposition as early as this weekend.
Even while the questioning was still underway, GOP lawmakers were telling reporters that "they weren’t satisfied and might try to bring him back another day," the AP reported. Following his testimony, Comey said he would return to answer more questions on December 17.
On Twitter, President Trump decried what he called "total bias and corruption at the highest levels of previous Administration."
Democrats said the Republicans’ questions were merely "distractions" from Robert Mueller's Russia probe.
Comey agreed to appear for the interview only after unsuccessfully fighting a subpoena in court. He had preferred to answer the questions in a public hearing.
"He wanted a public spectacle and he really wanted five minutes back and forth with members taking shots," Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) explained on Fox News during a break from the questioning, which was expected to go until 4:15 p.m. ET.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) told Fox News that some of the testimony they've received has been at odds with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's denials that he once suggested wearing a wire against Trump.
"Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein's public statements that he did not really talk seriously about taping the president and invoking the 25th Amendment is not consistent with the number of other sworn testimony or transcribed interviews that we've had," he said.
The Republican lawmakers didn't want to get into specifics about the testimony out of respect for the process.
According to Fox News, Republicans wanted to discuss the favorable treatment afforded by the FBI to Clinton advisers.
In October, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said he was "shocked" and "dumbfounded" when he learned that FBI had granted immunity to former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills during its investigation into the use of Clinton's server, according to a court transcript of his remarks.
Comey had two attorneys with him, Issa said, one of whom was a DOJ attorney who advised him "time and time again" not to answer key questions about their investigation into FBI malfeasance in 2016. He told Fox News that Comey followed the lawyer's advice with “gleeful acceptance.”
When asked what types of questions the fired FBI director was evading, Issa said: "In broad-brush strokes, everything related to Hillary's investigation, everything related to how they got on to it and what their process was, everything related to the FISA warrants and the fake dossier -- broadly those are the areas in which, time and time and time again, he's not answering."