Comey grilled for six hours in closed-door House hearing

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House Republicans have argued that Comey was biased against Trump because the FBI cleared Clinton, the former secretary of state who was Trump's rival in the 2016 election, in a probe into her use of a private email server, but pressed ahead with its investigation into whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation in the election.

Comey is appearing for the interview after unsuccessfully fighting a subpoena in court.

Comey also told investigators that the Justice Department's Russian Federation investigation was not instigated by the so-called Steele dossier, an intelligence report by former British spy Christopher Steele that makes unverified allegations against Trump.

He said in a Thanksgiving Day tweet that he may not appear if the interview is not conducted in a public setting.

Comey arrived for testimony shortly after 9 a.m. ET. The committee agreed to give the transcript to Comey within 24 hours.

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He reiterated that the investigation was not prompted by a Democratically funded opposition research - often referred to as the "Steele dossier" - but rather contacts former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos had with an intermediary during the campaign, a finding confirmed by House Republicans.

"It's a waste of time to start with", Rep.

The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director dropped his opposition to a closed-door hearing on December 2 after members of the Judiciary Committee panel agreed to provide a full transcript within 24 hours and said he would be permitted to make it public. "Force him to answer the questions under oath!"

Comey was in charge of both of those investigations.

Flynn, who was indicted for lying to investigators, has been cooperating with Mueller's probe.

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Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a review of the email investigation on June 14. Two other Republicans, Reps.

The New York congressman Jerrold Nadler, who is the top Democrat on the judiciary panel, said he would end the investigation in January when Democrats took over the House.

"The entire objective of this investigation is to be a diversion of the real investigation, which is Mueller".

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte, R-Va., decried Comey's use of "baseless litigation" and called it an "attempt to run out the clock on this Congress", a reference to the few weeks left before Democrats take control.

Both Goodlatte and Issa are retiring at the end of this session, with Issa having been nominated in September for a post in Trump's Trade and Development Agency. But it also found there was no evidence that Comey's or the department's final conclusions were motivated by political bias toward either candidate.

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