Former FBI Director James Comey frustrated GOP lawmakers on Friday, during his last testimony before the House Intelligence Committee before Democrats take over control of the panel in January, according to AP.
Speaking to the press outside of the proceedings, House Republicans indicated to reporters that they were unhappy with Comey's answers and may attempt to bring him back another day.
After the questioning was underway, some Republicans signaled they were unhappy with Comey’s level of cooperation. California Rep. Darrell Issa said Comey had two lawyers in the room, his personal lawyer and a lawyer from the Justice Department. He said the department lawyer repeatedly instructed Comey not to answer “a great many questions that are clearly items at the core of our investigation.”
Issa suggested the committee might bring Comey back because he wasn’t answering questions. Two other Republicans, Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona and Mark Meadows of North Carolina, also suggested they might need a second session with Comey if they didn’t finish their interview by a late afternoon deadline. -AP
Democrats disagreed, with Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL) stating "He answered the questions he had to answer," though he also admitted "we got nowhere today."
Raja Krishnamoorthi said that the mood was “a little bit tense” but said it was appropriate for Comey not to answer questions related to an investigation. He said Comey’s testimony is consistent with his book and previous Hill testimony.— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 7, 2018
And Jimmy Gomez said Comey said he wouldn’t have handled Russia/Clinton probes differently. He also asked Comey if William Barr is bias given his past comments about Mueller. He said if Barr is bias against Mueller, then he should recuse. But he also said he has respect for Barr— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 7, 2018
Other Democrats were upset that the Republicans on the Committee were distracting from the special counsel's Russia probe by asking questions about bias within the FBI when it came to investigating Donald Trump's alleged Russian ties as well as Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.
Democrats have said the investigations by the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees are merely a way to distract from and undermine the special counsel’s Russia probe. Mueller took over the department’s investigation when he was appointed in May 2017.
Florida Rep. Ted Deutsch said the Republican majority “wishes to only ask questions still about Hillary Clinton’s emails, all to distract from the big news today, which is what’s happening in court.” -AP
Mueller is set to reveal more details regarding his Russia investigation in a Friday court deadline. According to Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, Mueller believes that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort lied about Trump not knowing of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting.
"This is a waste of time to start with," said Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler (NY) regarding Comey's testimony. "The entire purpose of this investigation is to cast aspersions on the real investigation ... there is no evidence whatsoever of bias at the FBI or any of this other nonsense."
(Apparently Nadler missed the entire "F Trump"-themed trove of text messages discovered between lead FBI counterintelligence investigator Peter Strzok and his Trump-hating lover Lisa Page)