Former FBI director James Comey reached an agreement with Republican lawmakers to testify behind closed doors on Friday about investigations into Hillary Clinton’s emails and whether President Trump’s campaign advisers colluded with the Russian government to steer the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, the New York Times reports. Republicans agreed to release a transcript of his testimony in 24 hours and to allow Comey to speak about the meeting publicly. “This is the closest I can get to public testimony,” Comey said. He had been subpoenaed to testify privately on Monday before the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees. He asked a federal judge to quash the subpoena and allow him to testify publicly. The compromise about his testimony was reached a day before a federal court hearing on Comey’s request.
House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) said, “There was no need to use baseless litigation in an attempt to run out the clock on this Congress, and I am glad that it was withdrawn. Mr. Comey will join us for a closed-door transcribed interview later this week. We will release the transcript of his interview to the public as soon as possible after the interview, in the name of our combined desire for transparency.” With Democrats soon to seize the majority in the House and preparing to issue their own wave of subpoenas against Trump administration officials, House Republicans are trying to leverage the time they have left in power to question Comey and make a case that the FBI and main Justice Department have been tainted by partisan bias against the president.