House Republicans release Comey interview transcript

The House Judiciary and Oversight committees have released a transcript of former FBI Director James Comey's closed-door interview with the committees on Friday.

The House Judiciary and Oversight committees have released a transcript of former FBI Director James Comey’s closed-door interview with the committees on Friday.

Lawmakers and Comey said that the interview was tense and that Republicans were frustrated by instructions from a Justice Department attorney telling Comey not to answer certain questions about the Russia investigation. Comey and House Democrats said the interview was a waste of time consumed with questions about Hillary Clinton’s emails.

The transcript was released as part of a compromise struck by Comey and House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, who had initially subpoenaed Comey to appear behind closed doors.

Comey fought the subpoena in court, saying he would only testify if the proceedings were held in public. But he later backed down, agreeing to appear behind closed doors on the conditions that the transcript would be released as soon as possible and he would be free to speak about the interview afterward.

Comey was interviewed as part of the Republican-led investigation into FBI’s investigations into Clinton and Donald Trump and Russia in 2016. Republicans are preparing a report detailing their findings before Democrats take control of the House in January.

By Jeremy Herb and Laura Jarrett, CNN