As predicted, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee came out swinging early today with several questions for acting FBI Director McCabe on whether the Trump administration was actively seeking to impede an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Unfortunately, McCabe's answers will undoubtedly be somewhat disappointing for Democrats and CNN.
In an early exchange with Senator Marco Rubio, McCabe offered a very succinct answer on alleged White House interference with ongoing FBI investigations:
Rubio: "Has the dismissal of Mr. Comey in any way impeded, interrupted, stopped, or negatively impacted any of the work, any of the investigations or any ongoing projects at the Federal Bureau of Investigation?"
McCabe: "There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date."
"You cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing," McCabe says on if Comey's firing disrupted ongoing investigations pic.twitter.com/PMivNMlmkd— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 11, 2017
Moreover, McCabe went on to confirm that no agents have been removed from the Russia probe and that no one from the White House had contacted him about the ongoing investigation.
*MCCABE SAYS HE'D REFRAIN FROM UPDATING WHITE HOUSE ON PROBE
*MCCABE: ALL AGENTS IN RUSSIA PROBE STILL IN THEIR POSITION
*MCCABE SAYS NO ONE IN WHITE HOUSE HAS SPOKEN TO HIM ABOUT PROBE
Asked whether an independent investigator was necessary, McCabe once again had a very succinct answer: "No, sir."
Senator Lankford: "Is it your impression at this point that the FBI is unable to complete the investigation in a fair and expeditious way because of the removal of Jim Comey?"
McCabe: "Is is my opinion and belief that the FBI will continue to pursue this investigation vigorously and completely."
Senator Lankford: "Do you need someone to take this away from you and somebody else to do it?"
McCabe: "No, sir."
Acting FBI Director McCabe: It is my belief that the FBI will continue to pursue the Russia investigation “vigorously and completely” pic.twitter.com/CIribAAlef— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) May 11, 2017
Meanwhile, going one step further, McCabe also destroyed another New York Times narrative. Just yesterday we posted about a NYT story which implied that Comey was fired as a direct result of his request for a "significant increase" in funding for his 'Russia probe'. That said, McCabe quickly dismantled that narrative by noting that the FBI doesn't even make funding requests for individual investigations but that the Russia investigation was nevertheless "adequately resourced."
Senator: "Can you confirm that that request [funding request for Russia probe] was, in fact, made?"
McCabe: "I can not confirm that request was made.
As you know, when we need resources, we make those requests here. So, I'm not aware of that request and it's not consistent with my understanding of how we request additional resources.
That said, we don't typically request resources for an individual case. And, as I mentioned, I strongly believe that the Russia investigation is adequately resourced."
Of course, we're under no illusion that any of this testimony will make one bit of difference in the minds of Chuck Schumer or CNN as the Russians have clearly gotten to McCabe.