Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he would not bend to pressure from the White House.
“You cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution,” McCabe said.
McCabe then outright denied that James Comey had lost the respect and support of the FBI rank and file. The White House attempted to justify his termination by making that exact claim.
“Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does to this day,” McCabe said, saying he holds Comey in the “absolute highest regard.”
McCabe then said the FBI will continue to probe Russia’s involvement in the 2016 elections and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. He called the issue “highly significant,” despite the White House calling the issue “one of the smallest things that they’ve got going on their plate.”
A Continued Vigorous Investigation Has Been Promised
“It is my opinion and belief that the FBI will continue to pursue this investigation vigorously and completely,” McCabe said.
McCabe then told Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., that he would alert the committee if anyone tried to influence the FBI probe into possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. He concluded by noting that the F.B.I. would no longer update the White House about its internal investigation into President Trump and his cohorts.
“I strongly believe the Russia investigation is adequately resourced,” McCabe told the lawmakers.
Trump has become an enemy of the U.S. Intelligence community by constantly questioning various agency motives. Intelligence leaders have been unanimous in their assessment that Russia interfered with the election.
Meddling Has Occurred
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was unequivocal in his conclusion that meddling occurred:
“Moscow has a highly advanced offensive cyber program, and in recent years, the Kremlin has assumed a more aggressive cyber posture. This aggressiveness was evident in Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 US election, and we assess that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized the 2016 US election-focused data thefts and disclosures, based on the scope and sensitivity of the targets.”
In the meantime, Donald Trump and his team of alt-right leaders will begin a search to replace McCabe as acting F.B.I. Director.
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.