Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe is being interviewed Thursday by the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees, as they hone in on whether political bias tainted the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign.
A key topic is expected to be discussed is whether senior FBI officials discussed attempting to prevent Trump’s election. A text message sent by senior FBI official Peter Stzrok to another official suggested that they had discussed in McCabe’s office Trump’s election and said they couldn’t “take that risk.” “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40,” he added.
Andrew MCCABE has arrived for his judiciary/oversight committee closed door interview. pic.twitter.com/5ZWxqF2fuE
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) December 21, 2017
A day before, McCabe was interviewed by the House intelligence committee, where he reportedly gave answers that conflicted the testimony of previous witnesses, and could not confirm the Trump dossier’s allegations, according to Fox News.
His conflicting answers prompted Republicans on the committee to decide to issue fresh subpoenas next week on Justice Department and FBI personnel, likely DOJ official Bruce Ohr and FBI General Counsel James Baker. Ohr was demoted at the DOJ for concealing meetings he had with the Trump dossier author and the co-founder of the firm behind it, Fusion GPS. Ohr’s wife, Russia expert Nellie Ohr, was later found to have worked for Fusion GPS during the campaign.
Democrats during the interview reportedly pressed McCabe — unsuccessfully — to help them build a case against President Trump for obstruction of justice. McCabe also discussed how hard the FBI worked to verify the contents of the dossier, but could only confirm that Trump campaign adviser Carter Page had traveled to Moscow — a trip that was reported on in the press.
There are reportedly documents that McCabe signed that establish his knowledge of the dossier’s financing and source — the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, but when asked when he found out that the dossier had been funded by them, he said he could not recall.
The House intelligence and Judiciary committees have been raising the pressure on the FBI and the DOJ. The intelligence committee has been working to uncover whether the Obama DOJ, under then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, used the salacious and unconfirmed dossier to obtain spy warrants on the Trump campaign and launch their investigation against the Trump campaign.
The Judiciary Committee recently uncovered anti-Trump texts by senior FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who worked on the Clinton email investigation and on the Russia special counsel. Strzok was removed after the texts were found by the Justice Department’s inspector general and Page ended her assignment on the Special Counsel before they were found. They had discussed with Mwere also found to be having an affair.
McCabe is also under scrutiny, for working on the Clinton investigation and recusing himself only a week before the election, while his wife received donations in her run for a Virginia state senator seat from Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe.
The FBI and DOJ have been stonewalling congressional investigators for months, but have recently begun cooperating, as public pressure has built.
McCabe appearance before the Judiciary Committee comes as Republicans on the committee, most notably Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL), have threatened subpoenas of FBI and Justice Department officials and documents.