Cummings Issues Statement on “Emergency” Interview of FBI Deputy Director
Washington, D.C. (Dec. 21, 2017)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement in response to the emergency interview Republicans called this morning with Andrew McCabe, the Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), less than 48 hours after he appeared before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence:
Republican conspiracy theories that the FBI threw the election in favor of Hillary Clinton are contradicted by basic reality. The FBI re-opened the Clinton investigation just days before the election and announced it to the world despite the fact that they subsequently found nothing criminal. At the same time, the FBI had an ongoing investigation of President Trump, his campaign, and the Russians, but they did not make this key fact known to the American people before the election.
Everyone knows exactly what the Republicans are doing here. They are terrified that Special Counsel Mueller is getting closer to the truth and that he already has guilty pleas in hand. They know Michael Flynn cut a deal and there could be more coming very soon. So they are desperately trying to protect President Trump by attacking the credibility of Special Counsel Mueller, the Justice Department, and the FBI.
We know how this works because this is exactly what the Republicans did in Benghazi. We now have three committees in the House investigating—Intelligence, Judiciary, and Oversight—and that doesn’t even count the secret investigation being conducted by Chairman Nunes that was reported yesterday. The Senate Judiciary Committee and the Justice Department Inspector General are also investigating the same thing.
So that’s five or six different entities investigating. Does this sound familiar? Just like Benghazi, we know the Republican playbook. They admitted that their whole goal with Benghazi was to bring down Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers. Here they are trying to undermine confidence in the Special Counsel’s investigation.
But they won’t lift a finger to actually investigate the real abuses. They won’t request even a single scrap of paper from the White House about Michael Flynn, his security clearance, his foreign contacts, or his work with Russia to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East—none of it. Instead, Chairman Gowdy sent me a letter saying the Oversight Committee would not examine these abuses because it is not a “prudent” use of taxpayer dollars.
In today’s interview, Republicans grilled Deputy Director McCabe in an all-day session for the second time in just three days. They demanded today’s emergency interview on Tuesday night—literally while Chairman Gowdy was in a room already questioning Deputy Director McCabe for hours as part of the Intelligence Committee’s investigation.
I believe the Republicans were completely surprised and taken aback when Deputy Director McCabe immediately agreed to their demands for yet another emergency interview this morning. I cannot discuss the substance, but I can say that he showed everyone in that room today—with his answers to question after question—that he is a man of great patriotism, integrity, and honor. Like Sally Yates, Robert Mueller and many others, Deputy Director McCabe is a guardian of democracy, and we need more people like him in public service.
The oath we take as Members of Congress is not to Donald Trump—it is to the Constitution of the United States. I believe the Republicans in Congress have either forgotten that vow, or they are forsaking it.