Former FBI chief Comey arrives for GOP interview

Former FBI chief Comey arrives for GOP interview

Democrats have said the investigations by the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees are merely a way to distract from and undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe.

Two other Republicans, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Mark Meadows of North Carolina, also suggested they might need a second session with Comey if they didn't finish their interview by a late afternoon deadline.

"He answered the questions he had to answer", said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of IL.

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), for his part, disputed the argument that Comey dodged questions. "He couldn't tell us who was in the room, who was out of the room", Gaetz said, adding that Comey also did not share what senior officials like Andrew McCabe or Bill Priestap thought of the possible obstruction.

Some Republicans complained that Justice Department lawyers stopped Comey from responding to certain questions.

Comey had originally demanded that any interview before the joint panel of House Judiciary Committee and Oversight and Government Reform Committee members be conducted in public to avoid selective leaks. Republicans were able to hold onto their majority in the Senate.

Congressman Darrell Issa said he wanted answers about what he called the "fake dossier", a 2016 intelligence report including opposition research that alleges misconduct and ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. "The entire goal of this investigation is to cast aspersions on the real investigation ... There is no evidence whatsoever of bias at the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any other of this nonsense they are talking about".

Comey arrived for testimony shortly after 9 a.m. ET.

CLOSED DOOR: The GOP panel held the hearing in private, despite Comey's demand he get the chance to speak publicly. He has since become a vocal critic of the president and has periodically opined on the ongoing investigation against him.

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Trump later tweeted: "Comey was told by Department of Justice attorneys not to answer the most important questions".

Comey resisted the calls to appear for a hearing while insisting that it be made public.

It doesn't seem to be going as planned.

A transcript of Comey's sit down with Congress is expected to be released in the next 24 hours.

"We want to know what he knew and when he knew it", Issa said of Comey.

Comey had already testified during a almost three-hour hearing in June 2017.

The U.S. president early Friday continued his social media assault on the actions the past two years of Comey, Mueller and what Trump perceives as unfair investigations.

But the report didn't find there was an attempt to influence or rig the election.

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