- The Washington Times - Friday, November 30, 2018

Former FBI Director James B. Comey’s subpoena to testify before lawmakers was pushed back a day while a judge considers whether the House lawmakers are exceeding their authority to question him behind closed doors.

Thomas G. Hungar, the attorney for the lawmakers, told Judge Trevor McFadden Mr. Comey would sit for a deposition on Tuesday rather than Monday next week.

Earlier this week, Mr. Comey mounted a legal challenge to the committee’s plan to question him in secret about partisan decision-making by the FBI and Justice Department related to the 2016 presidential election.

The former FBI director has said in court filings — and publicly — that he’d be willing to talk to lawmakers, but argued the closed-door session could resort in a distorted view of his testimony being leaked by lawmakers.

On Friday, his attorney David N. Kelley told Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee, the GOP lawmakers were in a rush to issue a report about the 2016 election before the new Congress takes over in 2019, which be led by Democrats.

He argued the Republicans are trying to take “shots at this guy in a dark alley,” adding the lawmakers’ motive “reeks of political fear.”

Attorneys for Judiciary Committee pushed back, though, accusing Mr. Comey of making “a grandiose demand” to testify in front of television cameras.

“No other witness involved in this investigation has made such a grandiose demand, and this court should not countenance Mr. Comey’s temerity in attempting to dictate the terms on which he will deign to comply with his constitutional obligations,” the attorneys wrote in their court papers.

The attorneys also rejected Mr. Comey’s contention that a closed-door hearing could prejudice him through what he characterized as selective leaking by Congress.

Mr. Hungar said a transcript of the deposition would be available to Mr. Comey within 24 hours, which he could post online for the public to view, countering his claim the closed-door testimony would be twisted for political gain.

He also said Mr. Comey hasn’t testified before the Judiciary Committee since September 2016, saying it’s “absurd” for him to claim he’s being harassed.

Judge McFadden said he would continue to hear from the attorneys over the weekend, returning to the courtroom Monday morning where he may issue a ruling.

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