Comey Sparred With Republicans Over Flynn Interview

They suggested he was biased against Trump officials
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2018 6:50 AM CST
Former FBI Director James Comey speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill Washington, Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, after a second closed-door interview with two Republican-led committees investigating what they say...   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – House Republicans grilled James Comey over the FBI's January 2017 interview of Michael Flynn in a closed-door session Monday, according to transcripts released Tuesday. Comey defended the interview to GOP lawmakers from the House Oversight and Judiciary committees who suggested that the FBI treated Trump administration officials differently than their Obama administration counterparts, the Washington Post reports. The transcripts show Oversight committee chairman Trey Gowdy wondering about the purpose of the meeting, which came after Flynn lied to Mike Pence about his Russian contacts. "It is not the FBI's job ... to correct false statements that political figures say to one another. So why did you send two bureau agents to interview Michael Flynn?" Gowdy asked.

"Because one of the FBI's jobs is to understand the efforts of foreign adversaries to influence, coerce, corrupt the government of the United States," Comey replied, per CNN. "So they were sent there as part of that counterintelligence mission to try and understand why it appeared to be the case that the national security adviser was making false statements about his conversations with the Russians to the vice president of the United States." Comey told the lawmakers it was "consistent" with FBI practices not to warn Flynn, then Trump's national security adviser, that he could face consequences for lying to investigators. (On Tuesday, a judge told Flynn he had arguably "sold his country out.")

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