Should James Comey Testify?

By Stuart Liess, Epoch Times
November 25, 2018 Updated: December 4, 2018

Former FBI Director James Comey said last week that he will fight in court a subpoena that demanded he testify before Congress in a closed-door session.

The hearing is part of an investigation by the House Judiciary, and Oversight and Government Reform committees into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and the FBI and Justice Department’s handling of the investigations.

Comey said that he isn’t willing to testify behind closed doors, but is willing to testify publicly. Critics have pointed out that the last time Comey gave public testimony, he was unable to answer a significant number of questions because of classification issues. The Epoch Times asked people in New York City whether they think Comey should testify before Congress.

Noel Whitley in Maddison Square Park, New York, on Nov. 23, 2018. (Stuart Liess/The Epoch Times)

Noel Whitley, 52, lawyer, from California

The Epoch Times: Should former FBI Director James Comey testify?

Mr. Whitley: Yes, he should testify. I think there should be transparency when it comes to what our government officials are doing.

The Epoch Times: He was asked to be interviewed in a closed-door setting, but he has refused, saying he would only be interviewed publicly. What are your thoughts?

Mr. Whitley: It seems to me that he probably should do both, but he should testify. If he can’t answer proper questions in a public setting, then he should have a closed-door session.

Mauro Pennacchia Sr. in Maddison Square Park, New York, on Nov. 23, 2018. (Stuart Liess/The Epoch Times)

Mauro Pennacchia Sr., 87, retired, New York

Mr. Pennacchia: He should testify. The FBI, the police, judges—they should not be politically oriented publically. If they are, then they’re not performing correctly.

The way he behaved, he looked like he was anti-Trump because a couple of his agents, they made statements, so he should have fired them immediately. Now they’re going to have a hearing. The point is, who’s going to tell the truth? Between the two truths, there’s the seam in between; you’ve got your truth [and] my truth, but the real truth is in the middle.

We’ll see what happens. Comey wants to have an open hearing, a public hearing. He says they want to have it secret so he wants to have it public, and that makes me think that maybe he’s got something he wants to have heard. Maybe he thinks he’s right, he wants to reveal something.

If he says he wants to have a public hearing that means he has something to say in his favor.

Jenny G in Maddison Square Park, New York, on Nov. 23, 2018. (Stuart Liess/The Epoch Times)

Jenny G., 72, retired, New York

Ms. G: No, because that’s old news already. Let’s not distract from what’s really going on now.

Chloe Derrin (L) and Violette Macherel in Maddison Square Park, New York, on Nov. 23, 2018. (Stuart Liess/The Epoch Times)

Chloe Derrin (L), 21, student, from France
Violette Macherel, 20, student, from France

Ms. Derrin: I think he should testify about what he knows and think about what is best for the country.

The Epoch Times: He was asked to be interviewed in a closed-door setting, but he has refused, saying he would only be interviewed publicly. What are your thoughts?

Ms. Derrin: That’s kind of weird. If he doesn’t want to answer those questions, even with his concerns about the media, I think he’s hiding something. If you don’t have anything to hide, then you should answer those questions. Although sometimes, the media do change what people say.

Simon Reichart in Maddison Square Park, New York, on Nov. 23, 2018. (Stuart Liess/The Epoch Times)

Simon Reichart, 23, intern for BMW, from Germany

Mr. Reichart: I think it’s important to get the whole picture, so I think he should [testify].

The Epoch Times: He was asked to be interviewed “behind closed doors” but he has refused, saying he would only be interviewed publicly. What are your thoughts?

Mr. Reichart: Yes, maybe because he argued earlier that it is not possible to disclose information because of the public interview, he should be interviewed privately.

John Gloetzner in Maddison Square Park, New York, on Nov. 23, 2018. (Stuart Liess/The Epoch Times)

John Gloetzner, 46, architect, New York

The Epoch Times: Should former FBI Director James Comey testify?

Mr. Gloetzner: Sure, there’s no reason why we can’t ask individuals who work for us to be transparent.

I think that regardless of what confidentiality things are, it’s time for people to grow up and just be honest about things, so there isn’t any misinterpretation of information. People can be held responsible for that, whatever their actions were or are or are going to be.

Interviews have been edited for clarity and brevity

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