Until now, CNN contributor and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has consistently said that he was willing to answer questions under oath about his actions during the Russia investigation.
McCabe was scheduled to testify on Tuesday, but is now using the fact that three senators have tested positive for COVID as an excuse to skip it. McCabe even refuses to testify remotely as other officials have, such as former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
McCabe insists that “fairness” dictates that he not testify at all. His lawyer, Michael R. Bromwich expressed these concerns in a letter.
“A fair and appropriate hearing of this kind — which is complex and contentious — simply cannot be conducted other than in person,” Bromwich wrote.
Bromwich claimed that McCabe is “willing, able, and eager to testify in person” about the FBI’s Russia investigation “when it is safe to do so,” saying that he is “not willing to put his family’s health at risk to do so.”
It is difficult to look at this letter and see anything other than a nervous McCabe finding an excuse to avoid going under oath. McCabe may believe that the Senate and White House will be retaken by Democrats in November, so he may be delaying in the hopes that Democrats will cancel the hearings.
Recent disclosures have increased concerns among Republicans that serious misconduct took place during the Russia investigation. In the past few months, James Comey, Sally Yates, and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein have each said that they would not have signed off on the Carter Page application if they had known then what they know now.
Rosenstein even called for further investigation into misconduct by the FBI, including in matters related to McCabe. During his testimony, Rosenstein heavily criticized the former FBI Deputy Director.
McCabe has been giving interviews to deny any allegations against himself or the FBI, and to attack these hearings. He has not indicated that he will stop giving interviews, though the risk of catching COVID is just as likely in interviews as it would be at a Senate hearing.
Legal analyst Jonathan Turley wrote in an article about the issue that McCabe “has repeatedly used his CNN contract to spin stories that directly impact his legal and professional interests… He will continue to answer questions remotely at CNN of course — a hermetically sealed safe space for Andrew McCabe.”