Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee, is trying to get former FBI Director James Comey to testify in a public hearing, but it’s not happening as quickly as he had planned.
Chaffetz, who until now has seemed reluctant to investigate the Trump administration, said Monday that after speaking with Comey, he will be postponing this week’s Oversight Committee hearing to an as-yet-unscheduled future date. Comey wanted to speak with special counsel Robert Mueller before testifying, Chaffetz tweeted.
The committee was supposed to receive Comey’s memos this week as well as hear his public testimony.
Comey has been in high demand in the weeks since President Trump abruptly fired him, reportedly for pursuing an investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties with Russia. The New York Times published excerpts from a memo Comey wrote, indicating that Trump had asked for the FBI to drop its investigations into Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser who resigned amid a previous bout of Russia-related scandals.
In Congress, Chaffetz is not the only one who has reached out to Comey — the Senate Intelligence Committee invited Comey to testify in both closed and open sessions last week as well, in addition to subpoenaing Flynn’s records. Flynn is expected to plead the Fifth Amendment. This is the latest effort in a newly invigorated push from congressional Republicans to investigate what has been an increasingly scandal-plagued White House.
“There is a new story and a new headline every day,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), who sits on the Oversight Committee. “When we get to the bottom of it, then we can make the appropriate decisions, and sometimes those are difficult and hard decisions you have to make.”
In a moment of levity, the Utah Republican said he had to expand his “network” to even invite Comey personally. Since Trump fired Comey earlier in May, Chaffetz didn’t have his number anymore.
“I need to actually be able to contact him and other than looking him up on Google, I need to network out how to be able do that,” Chaffetz told the New York Times. “Since he’s left government, the old telephone number that I had for him, I haven’t been able to get through. I used to be able to text and call him on it.”
He clearly figured it out.