Former Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe and CNN Chief Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin pushed back against the idea of a "deep state" in the government that is working to undermine President Trump on Tuesday.
McCabe and Toobin made their comments ahead of testimony from Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams, a State Department employee detailed to Vice President Pence's office, in the impeachment inquiry.
"The idea that the FBI is this nest of liberals and resistance members — I had a very different perspective as a lowly assistant U.S. attorney, but I had the opportunity to work with a bunch of FBI agents. That wasn’t exactly my impression of how the FBI works," Toobin said. "But I think there is this fantasy that there is this resistance within these organizations like the FBI and the CIA and the State Department, which in my experience are not exactly left-wing outfits."
"Well, you are absolutely right about what the likely leanings are politically within the FBI," McCabe said.
"And of course, I say likely because we don’t know in the FBI. We don’t ask each other our political beliefs; we don’t talk about political issues. I think there is, of course, no deep state. There is no resistance within the bureaucracy across government agencies pushing against this president," he added.
McCabe, who has faced potential charges of allegedly lying to federal agents, said in the vast intelligence bureaucracy, there "are thousands and thousands of men and women who are committed to the rule of law. And we now have an administration that frequently finds itself bumping up against those laws that we rely on to govern this country. So when people across government stand up for those rules and point out those transgressions, we see how they are treated by this administration."
There has been at least one instance of potential bias in the FBI against Trump with former agent Peter Strzok. Strzok had worked with Robert Mueller during his investigation before being removed because of texts between him and lawyer Lisa Page, whom he was having an affair with, where he expressed political bias against Trump.
Former Acting CIA Director John McLaughlin more recently said, "Thank God for the deep state," since it was an intelligence community member filing a whistleblower complaint that started the impeachment inquiry.