In the twilight of Republican power in the House, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte fired off subpoenas to former FBI Director James Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch late Wednesday, demanding them both to testify in a deposition.
The two former top officials are being asked to testify in a deposition, not in a hearing, in early December, according to the subpoenas obtained by CBS News' Nancy Cordes. House Republicans have mere weeks before Democrats take control of committees and thus, control of subpoena power away from GOP hands.
The subpoenas follow a New York Times report that Mr. Trump wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute rivals Comey and Hillary Clinton. House Republicans have been probing the FBI's actions leading up to the 2016 presidential election.
Comey announced his subpoena in a tweet Thanksgiving morning, saying he's "happy to sit in the light and answer all questions" but will "resist" a closed-door questioning session. CBS News' Rebecca Kaplan has previously reported that Democrats plan to demand the hearings with Comey and Lynch be held publicly.
"Happy Thanksgiving. Got a subpoena from House Republicans," Comey tweeted. "I'm still happy to sit in the light and answer all questions. But I will resist a 'closed door' thing because I've seen enough of their selective leaking and distortion. Let's have a hearing and invite everyone to see."
READ THE SUBPOENAS:
David Kelley, an attorney for Comey, said Comey "will resist in court this abuse of process."
"As Representative Goodlatte and his colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee have repeatedly demonstrated, the interviews they have conducted in closed session concerning the Russia and Clinton email investigations are solely for the purpose of selectively leaking statements made by witnesses in order to fit and promote the Committee's false narrative," Kelly said in a statement to CBS News. "While the authority for congressional subpoenas is broad, it does not cover the right to misuse closed hearings as a political stunt to promote political as opposed to legislative agendas. Mr. Comey embraces and welcomes a hearing open to the public, but the subpoena issued yesterday represents an abuse of process, a divergence from House rules and its presumption of transparency. Accordingly, Mr. Comey will resist in court this abuse of process."