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Judiciary Committee postpones hearing with McCabe on Russia probe

The Senate Judiciary Committee is postponing a hearing with former FBI Deputy 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 after several GOP members were either diagnosed with or possibly exposed to the coronavirus.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSunday shows preview: Manchin makes the rounds after pivotal role in coronavirus relief debate Georgia DA investigating Trump taps racketeering expert for probe: report GOP votes in unison against COVID-19 relief bill MORE (R-S.C.) formally announced Monday that the hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, had been postponed. The panel did not immediately say when it would be rescheduled. 

The decision comes as four Republican members of the committee are out of Washington: Sens. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisMcConnell backs Garland for attorney general GOP senators demand probe into Cuomo's handling of nursing home deaths CNN anchor confronts GOP chairman over senator's vote to convict Trump MORE (R-N.C.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeWhite House downplays surprising February jobs gain, warns US far from recovery White House open to reforming war powers amid bipartisan push Garland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks MORE (R-Utah) have tested positive for the coronavirus, while Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward Cruz Cruz puts hold on Biden's CIA nominee It will be Vice (or) President Harris against Gov. DeSantis in 2024 — bet on it Senate rejects Cruz effort to block stimulus checks for undocumented immigrants MORE (R-Texas) and Ben SasseBen SasseSenators introduce bill creating technology partnerships to compete with China Garland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks Republicans, please save your party MORE (R-Neb.) are working remotely after having possibly been exposed. 

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McCabe had been expected to testify as part of Graham's months-long probe into "Crossfire Hurricane," the name of the FBI's investigation of Russia's election meddling and the Trump campaign, as well as the subsequent investigation by 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.

The formal notice from Graham comes after McCabe said over the weekend that he would not testify before the committee given the uptick in coronavirus cases in the Capitol, which does not have a formal testing program. Graham, as part of a committee vote earlier this year, has the power to subpoena McCabe.

"Mr. McCabe was still prepared to testify voluntarily and in person on October 6 as recently as the latter part of this past week. However, since that time, it has been reported that at least two members of your Committee – Senators Mike Lee and Thom Tillis – have tested positive for Covid-19, and it may well be that other members of the Committee and staff who plan to attend the hearing will test positive between now and then, or may have been exposed to the virus and may be a carrier,” Michael R. Bromwich, McCabe’s attorney, wrote to Graham.

Bromwich added that because of "fairness," McCabe was also unwilling to appear before the committee remotely. Former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyWray says FBI not systemically racist John Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges Trump DOJ officials sought to block search of Giuliani records: report MORE and 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 both testified remotely, while former Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Comey argues Trump shouldn't be prosecuted after leaving Oval Office Trump turns his ire toward Cabinet members MORE testified in person.

"A fair and appropriate hearing of this kind — which is complex and contentious — simply cannot be conducted other than in person," he added.

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The Senate had been expected to be in session this week but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package GOP votes in unison against COVID-19 relief bill Senate approves sweeping coronavirus measure in partisan vote MORE (R-Ky.) will try to adjourn the Senate until Oct. 19, minus brief pro forma sessions, after Lee, Tillis and Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonMarjorie Taylor Greene's delay tactics frustrate GOP Democrats gear up for PR battle on COVID-19 relief Johnson says leaving office after 2022 'probably my preference now' MORE (R-Wis.) announced late last week that they had tested positive for the coronavirus.

In addition to Cruz and Sasse, Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordSenate inches toward COVID-19 vote after marathon session Ron Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many Senate coronavirus bill delayed until Thursday MORE (R-Okla.) is also quarantining because he met with Lee last week.

McCabe's refusal to testify on Tuesday comes as Republicans are moving forward with their plan to start Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Oct. 12.

Both Cruz and Sasse have said they will return to the Senate in time for the hearings, and Barrett is expected to testify in person.

Updated at 11:06 a.m.