Senate Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley blasted former FBI Director James Comey on Monday for skipping a hearing about an inspector general’s report of the bureau’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
“This is the second time since he was fired that Mr. Comey an refused an invitation to testify here voluntarily,” Grassley said during his opening remarks for the hearing.
“He has time for book tours and television interviews but apparently no time to assist this committee, which has primary jurisdiction over the Justice Department,” Grassley added.
The Iowa Republican said that Comey’s attorney claimed that the former FBI chief was out of the country. But Grassley noted that Comey posted photos of himself in Iowa on Twitter over the weekend.
“According to his Twitter feed, he seems to be having a wonderful time,” Grassley said, drawing laughs from the Senate gallery.
So good to see new growth in Iowa and across the country. pic.twitter.com/3UeDofNVaC
— James Comey (@Comey) June 16, 2018
Monday’s hearing is being held to review a 568-page Department of Justice inspector general’s report about the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email probe.
The report found that Comey violated longstanding Justice Department policy by speaking publicly about the investigation during a July 5, 2016, press conference. The inspector general, Michael Horowitz, also found that Comey used a personal email account to conduct government business.
Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray appeared before the Judiciary panel.
Comey also missed a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing held in May to review Russian interference in the 2016 election. Comey’s lawyer, Daniel Richman, told Politico at the time that the former FBI chief had a previously scheduled engagement and could not attend that hearing.
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