Former FBI Director James Comey to testify privately Friday

Former FBI director James Comey arrives at the Irish Film Institute for for a public interview in Dublin Ireland

Former FBI director James Comey arrives at the Irish Film Institute for for a public interview in Dublin Ireland

Comey said in a tweet Sunday that it was "hard to protect my rights without being in contempt" and that he will "sit in the dark".

The interview is scheduled for Friday and Comey will be "free to make any or all of that transcript public as he is free to share with the public any of the questions asked and testimony given during the interview", Kelley said.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, issued a statement later Sunday confirming the planned testimony.

"Some Republicans argue that the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conspired against candidate Trump, hoping to throw the election to Clinton".

At the heart of the case is whether the panel should be able to force Mr Comey to testify in secret about the FBI's investigations into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private e-mail server and whether President Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation.

Comey also had asked McFadden to put an immediate halt to the joint committee proceedings that led to his subpoena, a request of the kind that no judge in USA history has ever granted. Democrats say the GOP is hoping to use the issue to derail or discredit special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Comey was due to appear Monday on the Hill, but Kelley disclosed in court that a new subpoena changed the deposition date to Tuesday.

The Kremlin has denied meddling in the USA elections, and Trump denies colluding with Moscow, repeatedly calling the Mueller probe a political "witch hunt" with no basis in fact.

Comey said Republicans will allow him to speak freely to the public and transcripts will be made available 24 hours after the hearing. Comey initially went to court to fight it.

But the hearing is one of several planned by House Republicans in the lame duck session, before Democrats assume the House majority in January, which will focus on the activities and investigations of Clinton.

Lawyers for the committee ridiculed Comey on Friday for his "grandiose demand" to offer testimony in public, where TV cameras would turn his answers into endlesly replayde video clips. Kelley said a closed hearing could result in "a shadow on the witness but bright lights for the committee member who seeks partisan advantage by peddling a misleading account of the witness's testimony", according toThe Washington Post.

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