News & Politics

Top Republicans Call for FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's Ouster

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Top Republicans are starting to pressure FBI Director Christopher Wray to can his deputy Andrew McCabe, who was set to testify before the House Intelligence Committee in a closed-door hearing Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley told reporters on Monday: “[McCabe] ought to be replaced. And I’ve said that before and I’ve said it to people who can do it.” Grassley clarified that he didn’t mean President Trump: “Trump ought to stay out of it. I think it’s a Christopher Wray job.”

Rep. Trey Gowdy, (R-SC), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News a few days ago that he’d “be a little bit surprised if [McCabe’s] still an employee of the FBI this time next week.”

On Tuesday, Gowdy said the committee was planning to grill McCabe about the “insurance policy” against Trump winning the 2016 election that was referenced by FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok in a text message to his mistress Lisa Page on August 15, 2016.

“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,” Strzok had written following a meeting in “Andy’s” — presumably referring to Andrew McCabe’s — office. “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

“That is devastating, and we’re going to explore that at 2:00 p.m. today,” Gowdy told Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer on America’s Newsroom. “Andrew McCabe cuts across every facet of every investigation in 2016 that your viewers are interested in, from Secretary [Hillary] Clinton’s emails to the investigation into the Trump campaign,” he explained.

In hundreds of text messages throughout the 2016 campaign, Strzok and Page referred to then-candidate Trump as a “loathsome human being,” “an idiot,” “awful,” and a “douche,” among other insults. Strzok also indicated that he would vote for Hillary Clinton, even as he was leading the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s improper use of a private server while secretary of State.

“This was a level of bias that you rarely see,” Gowdy said. “When Strzok said the vote should be 100 million to zero, what he’s saying is he can’t think of a single one of his fellow citizens that would vote for Donald Trump.”

Gowdy also noted that Lisa Page had suggested in a text that Strzok was where he was “to save the country.”

“And his response was, ‘I can save the country in a lot of different ways,'” Gowdy exclaimed. “Unprecedented bias. He’s in the middle of major investigations. Thank God he’s gone, but I want to know how the hell he got there in the first place.”

According to Fox News, members of the Intel Committee may also question McCabe on demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie Ohr, among other topics:

Bruce Ohr was reprimanded in the wake of revelations about undisclosed meetings he had with officials from Fusion GPS. Fusion GPS is the company that commissioned the infamous anti-Trump dossier that contained salacious allegations about then-candidate Donald Trump.

Nellie Ohr worked at Fusion GPS during the summer, specifically on Trump-related issues.

Republicans have also questioned whether McCabe has a conflict of interest. McCabe’s wife in 2015 ran for a state Senate seat in Virginia, backed by money from donors associated with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

In related news, on Tuesday the New York Post’s Paul Sperry tweeted that Strzok is now the subject of a DOJ IG investigation for possible Hatch Act violations, as is McCabe.