Former FBI Director James Comey is testifying Friday before members of Congress behind closed doors, setting the stage for him to spar with Republicans who have investigated the agency's probes into Hillary Clinton's private email server and Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Comey had fought the congressional subpoena in court, pushing for a public hearing before settling for some concessions. A transcript of the interview with members of the House Judiciary Committee will be released as soon as possible, perhaps in the next 24 hours.

When asked why they did not want Comey to testify in public as he requested, North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, who will be taking part in the questioning, said they often discuss classified intelligence. "We would be giving him a pass that I don't think he deserves," added Meadows.

President Donald Trump fired Comey in May 2017, a move that led the Justice Department to appoint Robert Mueller special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, including potential collusion between Trump's campaign associates and Russian officials.

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