Andrew McCabe’s attorney said that the former FBI deputy director would not appear at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing next week after two of its members tested positive for COVID-19, The Hill reported on Saturday.
McCabe was scheduled to testify on Tuesday as part of an investigation into the FBI’s Russia probe but will no longer appear according to his attorney, Michael Bromwich who noted health concerns amid recent reports that top Republican leaders had been diagnosed with the virus.
Per The Hill, McCabe’s attorney told Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham in an email that “an in-person hearing carries grave safety risks” to all of those in attendance after two members of the committee — Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) tested positive.
“It may well be that other members of the Committee and staff who plan to attend the hearing will test positive between now and then, or may have been exposed to the virus and may be a carrier,” Bromwich wrote in the email.
McCabe’s attorney said that the former FBI official would be willing to offer testimony “in the future when it is safe to do so. But he is not willing to put his family’s health at risk to do so.”
The email declining to appear, comes as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Saturday issued a statement saying that he intended to seek a consent agreement to postpone much of the Senate’s floor activity which is scheduled to convene beginning on Monday.
McCabe’s lawyer said that the ex-FBI official as a matter of fairness would not be willing to testify remotely.
“A fair and appropriate hearing of this kind — which is complex and contentious — simply cannot be conducted other than in person,” McCabe’s attorney wrote, per The Hill.
Graham has led the committee’s investigation into the FBI’s Russia probe and former special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry.
Democrats have pushed back on Graham’s investigation, calling it a partisan move to boost Trump ahead of the election which is now just one month away.
While Mueller has declined to testify in the hearing, former FBI Director James Comey appeared before the panel last week defending the FBI’s investigation.