James Comey trashes Republicans after leaving House hearing

Alex Wong  Getty Images North America

Alex Wong Getty Images North America

He had argued that Republicans would selectively leak details from the interview. "But I'm trying to respect the institution and answer questions in a respectful way", he said after the hearing, adding in a tweet: "In the long run, it'll make no difference because facts are stubborn things".

"This is a waste of time to start with", he said.

Comey's lawyers, one of whom is from the U.S. Department of Justice, is telling him not to answer "a great many questions that are clearly items at the core of our investigation", Issa said.

Meanwhile, the president launched a broadside Friday at Mueller's investigators ahead of major filings in the Russian Federation probe, alleging a slew of internal "conflicts of interest" and suggesting all those controversies should be included in the final report.

So far, it doesn't seem like they're getting very far, and according Issa, Comey isn't too broken up about it.

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"The FBI had a criminal investigation into a presidential candidate, and then less than a month after that ended, they launched a counter-intelligence investigation into the campaign of the other major presidential candidate", Gowdy said.

Issa suggested the committee might bring Comey back because he wasn't answering questions.

"Why "Mr. Transparency" wants to go back to a setting where he knows he can not answer the questions is befuddling to me, and I don't think my fellow citizens buy that", Gowdy said. Under a deal struck with the House Judiciary Committee, he can speak afterward and a transcript will be released.

Just as the meeting ended, President Trump tweeted that "it is being reported that Leakin' James Comey was told by Department of Justice attorneys not to answer the most important questions. Force him to answer the questions under oath!"

The hearing happened on the same day as a number of significant developments in the special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

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Mueller was expected to provide court filings Friday related to Trump's jailed former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former lawyer and longtime fixer Michael Cohen.

Apparently Trump thinks that even a 50% approval rating is low for him, claiming via Twitter, that it would instead be at 75% if it wasn't for the "phony Russia Witch Hunt".

A transcript will be released "as soon as possible after the interview, in the name of our combined desire for transparency", Goodlatte said.

Such hearings may not continue after the new year: with Democrats taking back control of the House, would-be incoming House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said Friday he will end the GOP inquiry into DOJ and Federal Bureau of Investigation actions during the 2016 election, calling it a waste of time.

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