Grassley Rips McCabe, Comey and Loretta Lynch For Refusing to Show Up For Inspector General Testimony

Posted: Jun 18, 2018 3:35 PM

Department of Justice [OIG] Inspector General Michael Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray took questions in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday afternoon about the OIG's recent report, released last week. The report surrounds FBI behavior during the 2016 presidential election and the decision not to prosecute former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information. 

Earlier this year, a separate OIG report found former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lied repeatedly to FBI and Inspector General investigators. He played a large role in the FBI's handling of the criminal investigation into Clinton. Today, he pleaded the Fifth and refused to testify. 

"The Committee also invited Former Attorney General Lynch, Former FBI Director Comey, and former Deputy Director McCabe to testify today. Mr. McCabe’s lawyer wrote that his client would rely on his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to avoid answering any questions here today," Chairman Chuck Grassley said during his opening statement. 

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch also failed to show up and fired FBI Director James Comey said he was unavailable due to vacation.

"Mr. Comey’s attorney tells us he is out of the country, although I saw he was in Iowa over the weekend. According to his twitter feed, he seems to be having a wonderful time. This is the second time since he was fired that Mr. Comey refused an invitation to testify here voluntarily. He has time for book tours and television interviews, but apparently no time to assist this Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over the Justice Department," Grassley said. "Ms. Lynch also chose not to show up. The need for transparency does not end when senior officials are fired or quit."

Republicans on the Committee attempted to change the rules to force witnesses like Comey to show up. Democrats, specifically Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, refused to get onboard.  

"We changed our rules at the beginning of this Congress to ensure the Chairman and the Ranking Member could compel hearing testimony from important witnesses like these," Grassley said. "Unfortunately, the Ranking Member refused to agree to compel any of them to be here today. That’s a shame, because we should be asking them how all of this happened on their watch."