Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has informed the Senate Judiciary Committee that he will refuse to testify at a hearing on the origins of the Trump-Russia probe because of concerns about exposure to the coronavirus.
McCabe’s attorney sent a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham saying McCabe was worried that attending the hearing would “put his family’s health at risk” after two committee senators tested positive.
He also declined to testify remotely, saying it wouldn’t be “fair.”
“It may well be that other members of the Committee and staff who plan to attend the hearing will test positive between now and then, or may have been exposed to the virus and may be a carrier,” [McCabe’s lawyer Michael] Bromwich wrote. “Under these circumstances, an in-person hearing carries grave safety risks to Mr. McCabe, me, and senators and staff who would attend.”
Bromwich said McCabe is “willing, able, and eager to testify in person” about the FBI’s Russia investigation “when it is safe to do so,” adding the former deputy director is “not willing to put his family’s health at risk to do so.”
Okay, fine. But why can’t you testify from home? We’ve got something called the “internet” these days and it’s really magical the way it can let you talk to other people from far, far away. And you can hear them too!
Michael R. Bromwich, McCabe’s lawyer, says it wouldn’t be “fair” to McCabe to have him testify from the comfort of his home.
He said for “reasons of fairness” McCabe would be unwilling to testify remotely. “A fair and appropriate hearing of this kind — which is complex and contentious — simply cannot be conducted other than in person,” Bromwich wrote.
Perhaps next time, McCabe will decline to testify because he’s afraid of getting hit by a car crossing the street on his way to the hearing.
McCabe has plenty of reasons to duck testifying. He, along with FBI Director James Comey, embraced the Steele dossier as evidence, despite knowing it was concocted by a suspected Russian asset. They used that “evidence” to spy on American citizens and the Trump campaign, looking to “hang” Trump before his administration even began.
McCabe was fired from the FBI for lying to Comey and investigators. He lost his pension and his job by trying to cover up his wrongdoing. Although the Justice Department declined to charge him with a crime, his efforts to secure documents relating to his investigation have met with a stone wall at Justice.
“We believe the FBI’s actions in denying Mr. McCabe access to materials such as his personal calendars and his personal notes for the relevant periods — which would refresh Mr. McCabe’s memory and enable him to provide complete and accurate testimony — is a violation of Mr. McCabe’s rights, is contrary to fundamental fairness, and obstructs and impedes the ability of the Judiciary Committee to obtain the testimony it seeks,” Bromwich wrote.
Mr. Bromwich is kindhearted to be so concerned about the ability of the Judiciary Committee to “obtain the testimony it seeks,” but the fact is, McCabe is not out of the woods legally. The Durham investigation is winding up and he could still be held to account for his role in the investigation.
That might have more to do with McCabe’s reluctance in talking than the coronavirus.