While subjecting witnesses to a variety of abuse

Comey is seeking to quash the subpoena, on account of how he doesn’t want to talk to Congress behind closed doors because the Republicans cheat.

Former FBI Director James Comey has filed a motion in federal court in Washington to quash a congressional subpoena issued just before Thanksgiving soliciting his testimony on the FBI’s actions leading up to the 2016 election.

Comey has said previously that he would be willing to testify publicly, but did not want to do it behind closed doors.

In Thursday’s filing, his lawyers argue that the House Judiciary and Oversight committees “have conducted an investigation in a manner that exceeds a proper legislative purpose insofar as members of the committees have established a practice of selectively leaking witnesses’ testimony in order to support a false political narrative, while subjecting witnesses to a variety of abuse.”

Yep. Remember how they shouted at Rosenstein? Remember how they shouted at Peter Strzok?

“Mr. Comey asks this Court’s intervention not to avoid giving testimony but to prevent the Joint Committee from using the pretext of a closed interview to peddle a distorted, partisan political narrative about the Clinton and Russian investigations through selective leaks,” his lawyers added in court papers.

In their filing on Thursday, Comey’s lawyers claimed Republicans would leak parts of his testimony “to mislead the public and to undermine public confidence in the FBI and the DOJ during a time when President Trump and members of his administration and campaign team are reported to be under investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and other law enforcement authorities.”

“The public record shows members of the Joint Committees leaking what suits them and maintaining the secrecy only of what does not. Witnesses who appear before the joint committees are powerless to counter or contextualize the distortions of their testimony that are leaked to the press,” Comey’s lawyers added.

Not completely powerless, I would think, but certainly at a huge disadvantage given that the leakers are The Government. So what the Republicans are doing here is, like so much of what Trump does, an abuse of power.

Comey’s lawyers cited a Supreme Court ruling born from the Joseph McCarthy Red Scare hearings in the 1950s and argued that the “abusive conduct” of the House investigation is in violation of Congress’ own rules and done to “harass and intimidate witnesses.”

The filing ticks through news reports that detail closed-door testimony by former FBI officials who appeared before the committees, such as Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok, calling them “leaks and related comments by Committee members” that have “unfairly prejudiced these witnesses and hardly served the supposed truth-seeking purpose” of the investigation.

What I said.

Lawfare has the motion.

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