A central part of the Democrats' narrative on FBI Director James Comey's firing has been that Trump possibly terminated him in order to obstruct the bureau's investigation into the ties between Russia and his campaign.
Reports (from anonymous sources) that added gasoline to that speculation were flying everywhere. The NYT wrote that Comey had allegedly asked for more resources for the investigation before he was fired. A CNN report alleged that Trump had fired Comey because he was “accelerating” the FBI's investigation. Panic ensued: otherwise respectable people were calling it a “constitutional crisis” and a “coup.”
There's still uncertainty over exactly why Trump fired Comey. (It looks increasingly like Trump was simply growing annoyed with his leadership which, while jarring, is hardly a crisis.)
But to Democrats and the media, which dialed their Russia hysteria up to Mach Five, the motive was clear: Trump is trying to obstruct the FBI's investigation into his campaign's possible collusion with Russia.
So what did acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee today, have to say about all of this hysteria?
In a nutshell: everyone needs to calm down. McCabe put to rest any fears that Comey's departure had somehow ended or even hindered the FBI's investigation into Russia.
Keep in mind that McCabe is no Trump stooge. NBC described him as a “respected bureau man” who has had a long career within the FBI. He was appointed by Comey to his current position in 2016, and if anything he has ties to Democrats and Clinton, not Trump. So it will be hard for the left to brush aside his testimony.
In an exchange with Senator Susan Collins, McCabe pointed out that nearly all of the agents who were working the case are still in their positions, and that Comey's termination does not “curtail” their work:
SENATOR COLLINS: Is the agent who is in charge of this very important investigation into Russian attempts to influence our election last fall still in charge?
MCCABE: We have many agents involved in the investigation at many levels, so I am not sure who...
SENATOR COLLINS: The lead agent overseeing the investigation.
MCCABE: Certainly. Almost all of the agents involved in the investigation are still in their positions.
SENATOR COLLINS: Has there been any curtailment of the FBI's activities in this important investigation since Director Comey was fired?
ANDREW MCCABE: Ma'am, we do not curtail our activities...
He denied that, despite Comey's firing, anyone was trying to “impede” their investigation:
ANDREW MCCABE: As you know, Senator, the work of the FBI continues despite changes in circumstance. Despite changes, there has been no effort to impede investigations.
McCabe also poured cold water over the speculation that the Russia investigation was understaffed or lacking adequate resources to do its work:
SENATOR HEINRICH: Do you feel like you have the adequate resources for the existing investigations that the bureau is invested in right now to follow them wherever they may lead?
ANDREW MCCABE: Sir, if you are referring to the Russian investigation, I do. I believe we have the adequate resources to do it and I know that we have resourced that investigation adequately.
You've heard it from the acting FBI Director himself. The Russia investigation is still moving ahead. It is not lacking resources. There are many agents working the case. No one is trying to impede their work.
This should calm down the media's wild hysteria, 'should' being the operative word.