Dec. 17 (UPI) -- After testifying before Congress for the second time in two weeks, Former FBI Director James Comey on Monday criticized Republicans for not speaking out against President Donald Trump's attacks on the Justice Department and FBI.
Comey answered questions for the second time in a closed-door interview with members of the House judiciary and oversight committees. It largely focused on the lead-up to the 2016 election.
He criticized House Republicans for the focus of their questioning.
"So another day of Hillary Clinton emails and the Steele dossier," Comey told reporters following his testimony. "This while the President of the United States is lying about the FBI, attacking the FBI and attacking the rule of law in this country. How does that make any sense at all?
"Republicans used to understand that the actions of a president matter, the words of a president matter, the rule of law matters, and the truth matters. Where are those Republicans today," he added. "At some point, someone has to stand up and in the fear of Fox News and fear of their base, and fear of mean tweets, stand up for the values of this country and not slink away into retirement."
During his first interview Dec. 7, Comey said he didn't understand Republicans characterizing former FBI agent Peter Strzok as a Clinton supporter. Strzok also appeared before the judiciary committee in July over texts critical of President Donald Trump, and was subsequently fired from the bureau.
"Peter Strzok helped draft my letter to Congress on October 28th that Hillary Clinton blames for her defeat. So it's hard for me to see how he was on Team Clinton secretly at that point in time," Comey said, referencing his announcement that the FBI was again reviewing Clinton's emails after declaring she would not be charged for using a personal computer server.
Comey also told investigators that the Justice Department's Russia investigation was not instigated by the Steele dossier, an intelligence report by former British spy Christopher Steele that makes unverified allegations against Trump.