WASHINGTON — Former FBI director James Comey accepted the Senate Select Intelligence Committee’s invitation to testify before their members, but declined the upper chamber’s Judiciary Committee’s invite to do the same.
“We’re extremely disappointed in James Comey’s decision not to testify voluntarily before the Judiciary Committee. There is no reason he can’t testify before both the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, particularly given that the Judiciary Committee is the FBI’s primary oversight committee with broad jurisdiction over federal law enforcement, FISA and the nomination of the next FBI director,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein said in a joint statement Friday.
“Given his commitment to the people and the mission of the FBI, we expected him to be responsive to the senators responsible for vetting its next proposed leader. He should reconsider his decision,” they added.
Five separate congressional committees are investigating Russia’s influence in the 2016 election and if any individual on the Trump campaign of transition colluded with Kremlin officials.
However, since President Donald Trump fired him almost two weeks ago, Comey has only agreed to go and testify publicly before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“The Committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former Director on his role in the development of the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media,” said Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr.
Chairman Grasley, though, later tweeted on Saturday it would not surprise him if Special Counsel Mueller stopped Comey from testifying before the Intelligence Committee.
I wld not be surprised if the new Special Counsel Mueller stops Comey fr testifying b4 the Senate Intelligence Comm even tho Comey is wiling
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) May 20, 2017