National Security

Graham demands testimony from former FBI acting Director McCabe

The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday demanded that Andrew McCabe answer questions about what he described as apparent “bias against President Trump” after the former FBI acting director spoke out about opening an investigation into the president.

“After Mr. McCabe’s 60 Minutes interview, it is imperative that he, and others, come before the Senate Judiciary Committee to fully explain how and why a [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] FISA warrant was issued against Carter Page and answer questions about what appears to be, now more than ever, bias against President Trump,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said in a statement.

{mosads}Graham, known to be an ally of the president, was reacting to an CBS interview in which McCabe reveals new details about his oversight of the bureau’s Russia investigation and confirms that he and other Justice Department officials discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to expel Trump from office following former FBI Director James Comey’s ouster. 

In his statement, the South Carolina Republican referenced a surveillance warrant used to wiretap former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, which Republicans have alleged improperly relied on details from the controversial Trump-Russia dossier. 

McCabe, a fierce critic of Trump, told CBS’s “60 Minutes” in excerpts of an interview released Thursday morning that he was “very concerned” about the duration of the investigation into Russian interference and potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow after the president fired Comey. He also said he began the probe into whether Trump obstructed justice shortly after Comey’s firing.

“I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground, in an indelible fashion,” McCabe said. “That were I removed quickly, or reassigned or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace.” 

Trump abruptly fired Comey in May 2017, pinning the decision on a Justice Department memo recommending he be removed over his handling of the probe into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s email use. Trump has since indicated the Russia investigation factored into his decisionmaking. It was Comey’s ouster that ultimately precipitated the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel to handle the Russia investigation.

In the CBS interview, McCabe also detailed a conversation with Trump following Comey’s removal, describing the president as having possibly won the election “with the aid of the government of Russia, our most formidable adversary on the world stage.”

“That was something that troubled me greatly,” McCabe added.

CBS News’s Scott Pelley also appeared on “CBS This Morning” to discuss the interview, saying that McCabe confirmed that officials discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to expel Trump from office following Comey’s firing, which was reported by The New York Times last fall.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has firmly pushed back on the allegation. 

“Deputy Attorney General again rejects Mr. McCabe’s recitation of events as inaccurate and factually incorrect,” a Justice Department spokesman said Thursday.  

McCabe has been a controversial figure since was fired by the bureau last March after an inspector general investigation found that he made an unauthorized disclosure to the media and “lacked candor” on multiple occasions, including under oath.

Trump has regularly attacked McCabe over the Russia investigation, writing on Twitter Thursday that he helped create the “Russia Hoax” and describing him as a “disgrace to the FBI.”

“Many of the top FBI brass were fired, forced to leave, or left. McCabe’s wife received BIG DOLLARS from Clinton people for her campaign – he gave Hillary a pass,” Trump wrote. “McCabe is a disgrace to the FBI and a disgrace to our Country. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” 

McCabe has also been a popular target among conservatives who argue that the FBI’s original counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference and the Trump campaign was improperly started by agents biased against Trump.

The same inspector general investigation that faulted McCabe for a lack of candor also uncovered text messages exchanged by FBI officials expressing criticism of Trump. However, the inspector general uncovered no evidence suggesting political bias affected the FBI’s decisionmaking.

McCabe is appearing on CBS to promote his new book, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump.”

Tags Andrew McCabe Donald Trump FBI Hillary Clinton James Comey Lindsey Graham Robert Mueller Rod Rosenstein Russia Investigation Special Counsel investigation
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