McCabe drops from testifying at Russia hearing Tuesday, citing coronavirus outbreak

McCabe says it would be unfair to testify remotely and dangerous to testify in person after three senators tested positive for COVID-19

Published: October 4, 2020 7:01am

Updated: October 4, 2020 7:18am

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is bowing out of his planned testimony Tuesday before a Senate committee investigating wrongdoing in the Russia probe, citing a coronavirus outbreak in Washington that has sickened President Trump and at least three senators.

McCabe's lawyer sent a letter Saturday with his decision, saying testifying in person would be dangerous and testifying remotely would be unfair given the complexity of issues involved in the Russia probe codenamed Crossfire Hurricane that targeted President Trump and his advisers.

"Mr. McCabe is willing, able, and eager to testify in person about Crossfire Hurricane at any time in the future when it is safe to do so," his lawyer Michael Bromwich wrote in a letter to Chairman Lindsey Graham. 'But he is not willing to put his family’s health at risk to do so.

"For these reasons, we are unwilling to appear in person for the October 6 hearing; and for reasons of fairness, we are 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.

McCabe was expected to be the star witness at the hearing, which is examining why the FBI submitted four inaccurate FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign in the Russia probe, doctored evidence, failed to inform the court as required of exculpatory evidence and continued to pursue former Trump adviser Mike Flynn when line agents recommended the case be closed for lack of evidence.

McCabe also was accused by the Justice Department's watchdog of lying during an internal investigation, but the Barr DOJ declined prosecution.

At least three GOP senators -- Thom Tillis, Ron Johnson and Mike Lee -- have announced since Thursday they have tested positive for coronavirus. Lee and Tillis serve on the Judiciary Committee.

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