Fired FBI Director James B. Comey refused to appear before Congress on Monday to talk about his handling of the Clinton email investigation, and his fired deputy, Andrew McCabe, asserted his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, Sen. Charles E. Grassley said.
Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch also declined to show up for a major hearing where the Senate Judiciary Committee was looking into the inspector general’s report detailing major bungles in Mr. Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation.
Mr. Comey’s lawyer said he was out of the country — though Mr. Grassley, committee chairman, said he saw Mr. Comey was in Iowa over the weekend, visiting a key state in presidential campaigning.
“He has time for book tours and television interview, but apparently no time to assist this committee,” Mr. Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said.
He said he had sought to compel the three to show up to testify, but Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, blocked him. Under committee rules, the ranking Democrat must agree with the chairman in order to issue a subpoena.
Mr. McCabe was fired for what the Justice Department said was freelance leaking to the press.
Mr. McCabe contends Mr. Comey was aware of Mr. McCabe’s communications with the press — a statement Mr. Comey disagrees with.
During Monday’s hearing with the inspector general and current FBI Director Christopher Wray, Sen. Ted Cruz wanted to know who was lying.
“One or the other is not telling the truth. I don’t know which one,” he said.
Mr. Wray declined to answer, saying it would trample on an ongoing investigation — though he wouldn’t say what that investigation is.