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Acting FBI director to testify on Russia, other threats

Andrew McCabe, right, in 2015. With him is Dana J. Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. (FBI)
Andrew McCabe, right, in 2015. With him is Dana J. Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. (FBI)

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe is set to testify before Congress on Thursday, a day after he was named to replace fired director James B. Comey. 

Appearing with other agency heads at the Senate Intelligence Committee's annual hearing on worldwide threats, McCabe will likely be the target of lawmakers' questions about Russia's interference in last year's elections and Comey's ouster by President Trump.

A Justice Department spokesman said McCabe and four other candidates were being considered to become interim FBI director. The choice could be announced as early as Thursday. 

McCabe has a powerful foe. Sen. Charles E. Grassley, (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Wednesday he did not think McCabe should run the FBI even for the short term because of his wife’s involvement in Democratic politics in Virginia.

The four others under consideration as interim director are William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center in the office of the director of national intelligence; Adam Lee, who heads the FBI’s office in Richmond, Va..; Michael Anderson, who heads the FBI’s office in Chicago; and Paul Abbate, an assistant director for the FBI’s cyber response branch.

The White House is separately looking at candidates who Trump could nominate for a full 10-year term as FBI director, putting his own stamp on the nation’s premier law enforcement agency. 

Also scheduled to testify at the hearing are Daniel R. Coats, director of national intelligence; Michael Pompeo, director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency; Lt. Gen Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency; and Robert Cardillo, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

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