Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe will replace James Comey at an open Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday, committee chairman Richard Burr has announced.
Comey has been invited to testify instead next Tuesday, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner announced.
Warner, the ranking member of the Intelligence panel, told reporters that he and Burr sent a joint letter to Comey early Wednesday asking him to testify on May 16.
“We’ve not heard back, we just sent out the letter this morning,” Warner said. “My hope is that he’ll take advantage of this opportunity.”
Comey was fired by President Trump on Tuesday after Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein submitted letters recommending the move. In a blistering memo, Rosenstein faulted Comey for his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
Ironically given both Trump’s and Sessions’ anti-Clinton position in that probe, Rosenstein said that Comey was unfair to Clinton. He also faulted Comey for overstepping his bounds by making a public announcement that he would not be recommending charges against Clinton.
Trump critics allege that Comey was fired because he would not let up on the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential campaign. Reports emerged Wednesday that Comey requested additional resources for the investigation from Rosenstein just before being fired. The Justice Department has pushed back on the story, though NBC News reported that Comey briefed Congress about the request.
Thursday’s session includes six intelligence community officials, including McCabe, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers.
Warner did not say whether Tuesday’s hearing will be open or closed.