House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte has issued subpoenas for former FBI Director James B. Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, demanding that both answer questions about the Department of Justice’s actions during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Mr. Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, issued the subpoenas late Wednesday to get their testimony on the record before Democrats take over the House in January. The Democrats are expected to terminate the GOP probe into whether anti-Trump bias within the ranks of the FBI and Justice Department influenced investigations related to the election.
The committee is requesting private depositions from Mr. Comey on Dec. 3 and Ms. Lynch on Dec. 4, according to the subpoenas.
Mr. Comey, who had spurned recent committee requests to testify, confirmed Thursday on Twitter that he had received a subpoena but said he will refuse to testify unless it is in a public hearing.
“Happy Thanksgiving. Got a subpoena from House Republicans. I’m still happy to sit in the light and answer all questions. But I will resist a ‘closed door’ thing because I’ve seen enough of their selective leaking and distortion. Let’s have a hearing and invite everyone to see,” Mr. Comey tweeted.
Ms. Lynch has not publicly confirmed whether she has received a subpoena.
Democrats on the committee are expected to push for the hearings to be made public.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, the New York Democrat who is expected to be chairman of the panel next year, has said that GOP plans to subpoena Mr. Comey and Ms. Lynch were “unfortunate,” and “coming out of the blue.”
“Months ago, Director Comey and Attorney General Lynch both indicated their willingness to answer the Chairman’s questions voluntarily. My understanding is that the Republicans have had no contact with either the director or the attorney general since,” he said in a statement last week.
Republicans are eager to question Mr. Comey about the notes he made about his private conversations with President Trump before he was fired in May 2017. He testified before Congress last year, telling lawmakers that he kept records of his conversations because he believed the president had inappropriately asked for a loyalty pledge.
At the time of the purported conversation, Mr. Comey was directing the FBI’s probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Mr. Trump has denied ever asking for a loyalty pledge.