FBI deputy director to meet with House panel as Republicans raise questions about DOJ bias: Aides

McCabe spent about 8 hours Wednesday with House Judiciary Committee members.

ByABC News
December 20, 2017, 11:02 PM

— -- FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is expected back on Capitol Hill Thursday for a closed-door interview with the House Judiciary Committee, according to Committee aides, as Republicans continue to investigate the handling of the Clinton email and Trump campaign investigations during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The FBI declined to comment.

McCabe spent roughly eight hours behind closed doors with members of the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday, as Republicans, including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, have called for his firing.

“He ought to be replaced," Grassley told reporters Tuesday, according to Bloomberg News. "And I’ve said that before and I’ve said it to people who can do it,”

Some Republicans have accused McCabe of bias, citing his wife’s run for a Virginia state Senate seat in 2015, and the fact that her campaign received money linked to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D-Virginia.

Rep. Peter King, R-New York, a member of the Intelligence Committee who said he has "no professional problem" with McCabe, said the deputy FBI director should have recused himself from the Clinton email investigation given his wife's political campaign.

"I think Andy McCabe is an honest guy ... but when you’re involved in a high profile investigation like that, whether it’s with Hillary Clinton or President Trump, you should make it obvious that there’s no conflicts at all, that there’s no appearance of a conflict,” said King, who sat in on his panel’s meeting with McCabe.

"There's not a smoking gun I don’t mean that but I thought there were instances which show that there really wasn’t as I was concerned, to warrant the start of the investigation," he said of the FBI's Russia probe eventually taken over by special counsel Robert Mueller.

King added that he believes McCabe should step aside from his leadership role at FBI "to show that the FBI is operating evenly."

"It would be probably better if he stepped aside," he said. "A new director should bring in his own people."

Democrats on the panel, including Rep. Jackie Speier, D-California, defended McCabe’s record.

"I think he was very informative and very forthcoming," she said of his interview with the panel. "He has not displayed any conduct that would suggest he should be fired."

Republicans’ concerns with McCabe follow the Justice Department’s release of anti-Trump text messages from FBI agent Peter Strzok, a veteran agent who was removed from Mueller’s team after the discovery of the messages.

In a letter sent to the Department of Justice Tuesday, the leaders of the House Judiciary Committee and Oversight Committees also requested an interview with Lisa Page, the FBI official who exchanged text messages with Strzok, and FBI chief of staff James Rybicki.