Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley wants the FBI’s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, to be replaced immediately.
“He oughta be replaced,” Grassley said of McCabe, according to Bloomberg News. “And I’ve said that before and I’ve said it to people who can do it.”
However, the Republican senator made it clear that he wants President Trump to stay away from the matter, believing that FBI Director Christopher Wray should be the one to formally remove McCabe.
“Trump ought to stay out of it. I think it’s a Christopher Wray job,” Grassley told reporters on Monday.
McCabe has come under heavy fire from Republicans over his roles in the Clinton email and Russia collusion investigations. As the bureau’s second highest-ranking official, McCabe is being interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee about his role in the Russia investigation and his knowledge about the infamous Trump dossier on Tuesday. The dossier was a 35-page document written by former British spy Christopher Steele and reportedly funded by both the Clinton campaign and the DNC.
The FBI and Justice Department had been reluctant in making McCabe available for questioning before the committee.
Grassley and the Senate Judiciary Committee, one of three congressional panels investigating Russian interference in the presidential campaign, have continuously pressed the FBI over McCabe’s involvement in the Clinton email investigation.
Due to conflicts of interest, McCabe formally stepped away from that investigation in Oct. 2016 after it was learned that his wife received hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions for a Virginia state Senate bid from Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who is a staunch ally and donation contributor to the Clintons.
Grassley, along with his Republican colleagues, wants to question McCabe on his knowledge about FBI agent Peter Strzok’s handling of the Russia investigation, after it was learned that he sent anti-Trump and pro-Clinton text messages while working on both investigations last year.
In one text message, from Aug. 15, 2016, Strzok appeared to reference a discussion that had taken place in McCabe’s office.
“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40,” Strzok wrote to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer who was also his mistress.
Strzok was kicked off Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team after the text messages were discovered.
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