Disgraced former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe faced many tough questions by the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday over his actions surrounding the FBI’s 2016 counterintelligence probe into Donald Trump.
During questioning, Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked McCabe why the FBI didn’t act when former CIA Director John Brennan delivered a memo to the bureau detailing how Hillary Clinton concocted the Russia collusion hoax to politically damage Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election.
“How do you explain to the American people how the FBI received a memo from the CIA alleging that Hillary Clinton had signed off on a plan concerning U.S. presidential [candidate] Donald Trump and Russian hacker hampering U.S. elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email service, that you did nothing. Should [Counterintelligence Special Agent] Peter Strzok have told you about this?” Graham asked.
McCabe attempted to pivot from the question by arguing he didn’t know what Strzok or former FBI Director James Comey “thought” about that CIA memo.
“I can’t explain to you, Senator, what Peter Strzok or Director Comey thought about that memo at that time. What I can say Senator–“
“No, wait a minute. No, no. Please, I want to get into this,” Graham interrupted, then asking why the FBI would launch a counterintelligence probe into Trump based on a hearsay conversation about “Russian hacking” at a bar but not look into credible allegations presented by the CIA.
McCabe responded that the CIA memo didn’t contain any “criminal conduct.”
“What I’m saying, Senator, is it is not clear to me that there is an allegation of criminal conduct in that memorandum,” McCabe said. “That is based on my current reading of it. I did not see it at the time.”
But Graham pointed out that the FBI probe was a counterintelligence probe, not a criminal investigation, and so the CIA’s memo should have warranted further investigation.
“So, if you’re going to have a counterintelligence investigation opened up against the Trump campaign based on a conversation by the Australian ambassador to the United Kingdom based on a bar conversation, you’re telling me that’s legit, and you put all the resources for two and half years to run that down,” Graham continued.
“But you’re telling this committee when our own CIA suggests that Hillary Clinton signed off on a plan to link Trump to Russia for political purposes, you didn’t do a damn thing.”
McCabe then attempted to pivot away from Clinton with his original talking point again.
“I cannot, sir, explain to you what Peter Strzok or anyone else thought about that at the time, but–”
“Your own CIA informs the FBI in September that they have information that Hillary Clinton herself signed off on a plan to divert attention from her email problems to Trump by linking him to Russia for political purposes,” Graham explained.
“And Mr. Strzok never told you about it, the FBI never opened up an investigation, they never hired one agent. That really is disturbing to a lot of us,” he concluded.
Watch Graham’s entire line of questioning to McCabe below: