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McCabe defends investigation of Trump before Senate committee: We had 'many reasons'

McCabe defends investigation of Trump before Senate committee: We had 'many reasons'
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Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeJohn Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges Carter Page sues over surveillance related to Russia probe McCabe defends investigation of Trump before Senate committee: We had 'many reasons' MORE on Tuesday said that his former agency had “many reasons” to open its “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign. 

At a much-anticipated Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, McCabe explained that the bureau began investigating after it received word that the Trump campaign may have been involved. He also highlighted President TrumpDonald TrumpHarry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' Man arrested for allegedly threatening to stab undercover Asian officer in NYC Trump says GOP will take White House in 2024 in prepared speech MORE's firing of former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyShowtime developing limited series about Jan. 6 Capitol riot Wray says FBI not systemically racist John Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges MORE in 2017 after he refused to close the agency’s investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump told the Russians that firing Comey “relieved a lot of pressure” that was on him, McCabe noted. 

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“We had many reasons at that point to believe that the president might himself pose a danger to national security and that he might have engaged in obstruction of justice if the firing of the director and those other things were geared towards eliminating or stopping our investigation of Russian activity,” McCabe said.  

McCabe’s testimony comes as part of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s probe into the origins of the investigation and former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE’s subsequent inquiry. The committee is also probing the courts created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. 

McCabe was originally supposed to testify last month, but the hearing was pushed back due to coronavirus concerns. 

After 22 months, Mueller’s probe did not find enough evidence to charge members of the Trump campaign over allegations they coordinated or conspired with Moscow to sway the election in their favor. 

Mueller declined to testify before the panel, but Comey testified in late September about the investigation. 

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“I would say in the main it was done by the book, it was appropriate and it was essential that it be done. ... There are parts of it that are concerning … but overall I’m proud of the work,” Comey said.

Former Deputy Attorney General Sally YatesSally Caroline YatesBiden directs DOJ to phase out use of private prisons The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from chaotic downtown DC Biden to name Merrick Garland for attorney general MORE testified as part of the probe in early August, in which she defended the investigations into Flynn and former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Trump and longtime allies, including Judiciary Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMSNBC's Joy Reid pans Manchin, Sinema as the 'no progress caucus' Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists Biden defense budget criticized by Republicans, progressives alike MORE (R-S.C.) have long said that the Russia investigation was politically motivated and was used a chance to spy on the Trump campaign and his presidency.

An inspector general found that there was not political bias in launching the probe, but was critical of the FBI seeking surveillance of Page.