Senate Judiciary Committee members Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who acts as the chairman of the committee, are considering forcing former FBI Director James Comey to appear before their panel for a second time.
A spokesman for Grassley said, “Senator Grassley is willing to consider issuing subpoenas in the course of the Judiciary Committee’s ongoing and bipartisan oversight, but no specific decisions on issuing subpoenas have been made at this time.”
Comey’s much-anticipated testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday marked his first public comments since he was fired.
So far, he has refused to meet with the Judiciary Committee.
“I keep looking at Comey’s testimony about the FBI and thinking ‘Why isn’t this in the Senate Judiciary Committee?’” said committee member Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Il.), because the group actually has oversight over the FBI. “This really raises some fundamental questions about the Federal Bureau of Investigation and I hope we’ll play a much more aggressive role in the future.”
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) even noted that “at some point the Judiciary Committee has to decide whether it’s going to continue to be a serious committee any more.”
Neither man is crazy about the prospect of having Comey subpoenaed, but others are all about it. And some are calling for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to testify in public as well.
Both the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence committees are currently conducting their own investigations, but requests from the Judiciary Committee haven’t been answered to their satisfaction.
However, Grassley is not likely to want another hearing in which Comey gets a second chance to repeat his testimony and generally distract everyone from working on the already behind-schedule GOP agenda.
“It’s not helpful,” said GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak. “I understand Judiciary’s mad. They wanted to get the first crack at him. …I don’t begrudge Judiciary wanting to bring him back.”
Upon learning through Comey’s testimony that he leaked his own memos to a reporter through a “close friend” Trump claimed victory. “[Comey] showed no collusion, no obstruction. We are doing really well. …We were very, very happy and, frankly, James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said. And some of the things that he said just weren’t true,” said Trump during a press conference on Friday.
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