Comey clashes with GOP on Clin­ton emails, bias al­leged

Albuquerque Journal - - NATION -

WASH­ING­TON — For­mer FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey spoke to House in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­hind closed doors for al­most seven hours Fri­day, be­grudg­ingly an­swer­ing ques­tions about the Jus­tice Depart­ment’s de­ci­sions dur­ing the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Comey, who ap­peared un­der sub­poena, an­nounced af­ter the meet­ing that he would re­turn for more ques­tion­ing Dec. 17. Ap­pear­ing an­noyed, he said, “We’re talk­ing about Hil­lary Clin­ton’s emails, for heaven’s sake, so I’m not sure we needed to do this at all.”

The in­ter­view tran­script “will bore you,” Comey said.

Two GOP-led com­mit­tees brought Comey in as they sought to wrap up a year­long in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Repub­li­cans ar­gue that depart­ment of­fi­cials were bi­ased against Don­ald Trump as they started an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into his cam­paign’s ties to Rus­sia and cleared Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton in the probe into her email use. Comey was in charge of both in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

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 Rus­sia probe.

Af­ter the ques­tion­ing some Repub­li­cans sig­naled they were un­happy with Comey’s level of co­op­er­a­tion. Rep. Dar­rell Issa, R-Calif., said Comey had two lawyers in the room, his per­sonal lawyer and one from the Jus­tice Depart­ment. He said the depart­ment lawyer in­structed Comey not to an­swer “a great many ques­tions that are clearly items at the core of our in­ves­ti­ga­tion.” Democrats dis­agreed. “He an­swered the ques­tions he had to an­swer,” said Rep. Raja Kr­ish­namoor­thi, D-Ill., But he added that “we got nowhere to­day.”

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