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James Comey

Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Former FBI Director James Comey spoke on everything from Hillary Clinton's emails to getting fired by President Trump during a speech Monday in Sarasota.

James Comey, the former head of the FBI who was fired by President Trump, says he will push back on a subpoena to appear in a closed-door session before the House Judiciary Committee unless he is allowed to testify publicly.

The committee, which has also issued a subpoena to former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, is looking into how the FBI handled the investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails.

In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, fired FBI Director James Comey defended his controversial decisions during the 2016 campaign and asserted that the reputation of his agency — which operates under near daily siege from the president and his allies — "would be worse today had we not picked the least bad alternatives."

"I saw this as a 500-year flood, and so where is the manual? What do I do?" he said.

Updated at 5:06 p.m. ET

Former FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he believed he was fired by President Trump over the growing Russia investigation and that other arguments by the White House were "lies, plain and simple."

Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images

Former FBI Director James Comey will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday morning. The crux of his highly-anticipated remarks was released by the Senate panel Wednesday — and it only confirmed the hype around his appearance while detailing the extent to which President Trump pressed him about the Russia investigation.

Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images

Former FBI Director James Comey is testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. Before Comey was fired on May 9, he led the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential ties between Trump associates and Russia. That probe is now led by a special prosecutor.

Updated at 6:28 p.m. ET

Former FBI Director James Comey will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday that President Trump did ask him for "loyalty" at a January dinner and later told him alone in the Oval Office that he "hope[d] you can let" the investigation into former national security director Michael Flynn "go."

TV networks have deployed countdown clocks. People are tweeting about places to watch and whether they'll offer morning cocktail specials. Congressional aides report that demand for seats inside the Senate hearing room has reached levels not seen for decades.

Anticipation is building for testimony from fired FBI Director James Comey, not least in the White House, where the president and his aides worry the telegenic former law enforcement leader could inflict both political and legal wounds.

What Comey might say

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Hillary Clinton has called on the FBI director to divulge more information on his announcement he is continuing the agency’s investigation into her emails. But does the timing of his move violate federal policy? WUSF's Steve Newborn talks about that with Josh Gillin of PolitiFact Florida.