FBI Director Christopher Wray and a handful of other top intelligence officials will face questioning lawmakers from the Senate Intelligence Committee next week.
The open hearing titled “Worldwide Threats” will be held February 13, and include Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, NSA Director Michael Rogers, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Robert Ashley and National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Director Robert Cardillo.
The hearing is an annual event, but it comes as Wray has had to fend off criticism from President Trump and some Republican lawmakers that there is bias in his bureau.
Wray last week saw the departure of his deputy director Andrew McCabe, who had also faced ire from Trump and Republicans. According to a report, McCabe's departure, though expected in early 2018, could also have been tied to a forthcoming inspector general report.
Wray could also face questions about the text messages exchanged between top FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, both whom worked on the FBI's probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.
More messages between the two were released on Wednesday by Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, who last week asked for the FBI and Department of Justice to turn over droves of documents related to the committee's probe into the FBI-Clinton investigation. Wray was among the 16 total FBI and Justice Department employees Johnson named in his request.
The other officials are also likely to face questioning about a Republican memo produced by the House Intelligence Committee that alleges surveillance abuses by both the FBI and Justice Department.
That memo was released Friday, and was followed by rumors that President Trump was set to use it to remove Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in an effort to get at special counsel Robert Mueller.
It was reported that if Rosenstein was removed, Wray could have stepped down too, but neither has happened yet.
However, Tuesday’s hearing could come amid the release of another memo — a Democratic one that the House Intelligence minority says fills in the blanks of the GOP memo.
White House chief of staff John Kelly hinted that Trump could redact some information in the classified memo before a Friday deadline.
"This is not as clean a memo as the first one," Kelly told reporters Tuesday night. “This is a different memo than the first one, it’s lengthier ... But again, where the first one was very clean relative to sources and methods, my initial cut is this one is a lot less clean.”
As of Monday night, Trump had five days to allow the memo’s release or explicitly object to it. The FBI, Justice Department and other intelligence officials are reviewing it for redactions — the same process the Republican memo underwent.