WASHINGTON – Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., got straight to the point that is obsessing Democrats and the mainstream media, asking if the firing of former FBI Director James Comey had “impeded, interrupted, stopped or negatively impacted” any of the bureau’s investigations.
“There has been no effort to impede the investigation, to date,” replied acting FBI director Andrew McCabe.
He added, “Simply put, sir, you cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.”
The acting FBI director also said he would “absolutely” notify Congress if the White House attempted to interfere in the bureau’s investigation into whether the Russian government meddled in the 2016 presidential election.
McCabe also contradicted reports by the Washington Post and New York Times that Comey was fired just days after seeking more resources for that investigation, including more prosecutors, other personnel and funding.
The papers said Comey informed lawmakers of such a request, but the Justice Department has denied that.
McCabe said, “I’m not aware of that request, and it’s not consistent with my understanding of how we request additional resources.”
“We don’t typically request resources for an individual case,” he explained.
McCabe added, “I strongly believe the Russia investigation is adequately resourced.”
His comments were made during testimony Thursday before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats. Comey had been scheduled to appear but was fired Tuesday by President Trump.
Democrats were specifically upset that Trump fired Comey during an investigation into possible meddling in the 2016 election by the Russian government that includes allegations Moscow colluded with the Trump campaign.
Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said, “Any attempt to stop or undermine this FBI investigation would raise grave constitutional issues.”
However, by top Democrats’ own admission, investigators have not found any evidence of any collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign or administration.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who serves on the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence committees, said last week she had seen no such evidence. Other Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee have said they don’t expect to find any evidence of collusion.
Fierce Trump critic Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, has had to admit there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Obama’s own former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, as well as former acting CIA Director Michael Morell, have said they have seen no evidence of collusion between the Trump team and the Russian government.
The president said in an interview with NBC on Thursday that he had never pressured Comey to drop the Russia investigation, maintaining, “I want to find out if there was a problem in the election having to do with Russia.”
Anchor Lester Holt asked Trump if he was trying to send a message to Comey’s successor to “lay off” the Russia investigation, to which the president replied, “I’m not.”
“If Russia did anything, I want to know that,” he said.
Trump also sid there was no “collusion between me and my campaign and the Russians.”
“Also, the Russians did not affect the vote,” he added.
The president also said he had been planning to fire Comey even before he received a scathing report on the FBI director from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
“He’s a showboat, he’s grandstander, the FBI has been in turmoil,” Trump said of the former FBI director. “You know that, I know that. Everybody knows that. You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil, less than a year ago. It hasn’t recovered from that.”
During Thursday’s White House daily press briefing, reporters peppered spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders over her stating the day before that the Rosenstein memo was the deciding factor in the firing of Comey.
However, Sanders reminded reporters that she had also said the president wanted to fire Comey from his first day in office, but gave him a chance to prove himself. She reiterated her statement of the day before that the president had been losing confidence in Comey from the beginning.
As WND reported, Sanders said the last straw for the president actually occurred when Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Wednesday.
She described it as the first time the FBI director publicly and openly admitted to violating the Justice Department chain of command by deciding for himself not to recommend pressing charges against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information on her private email server, rather that leaving that decision to then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
On Wednesday, Sanders said the president is considering several individuals to replace Comey, and the first step will be for the Justice Department to determine an interim director.
She also said McCabe is under consideration for the temporary position and that the president met with him behind closed doors Wednesday afternoon.
Sanders added, “As of today, the Department of Justice is handling the first step in this process.”