Andrew McCabe, the man who stepped into James Comey's shoes when the former FBI chief was fired by President Donald Trump, is getting a public baptism of fire Thursday.
The acting FBI director is a part of a Senate intelligence committee hearing in an engagement his former boss had been due to fulfill.
He is seated alongside other top intelligence chiefs for a hearing on global threats to the United States and its allies but is likely to face questions, particularly from Democratic senators, about what he knows about Comey's firing and about the integrity of the bureau's investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the last year's election and whether any of Trump's campaign aides may have cooperated with Moscow.
Senate intelligence committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, opened the committee by asking the panel's members to focus on the original topic of the hearing -- originally billed as discussing "World Wide Threats" -- a request ranking Democratic Sen. Mark Warner said would be difficult to accommodate.
"It is impossible to ignore that one of the leaders of the intelligence community is not here with us today," the Virginia senator said in his opening remarks. "The President's firing of FBI Director Comey Tuesday night was a shocking development. The timing of Director Comey's dismissal to me and to many members of the committee on both sides of the aisle is especially troubling."
McCabe took part in a private meeting with Trump at the White House on Wednesday, after deputy White House spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the President would talk to him about morale at the bureau following Comey's departure.
Burr has also expressed concern about Comey's firing.
"I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey's termination," Burr tweeted.
"His dismissal further confuses an already difficult investigation by the Committee."
Alongside McCabe at the witness table on Thursday will be Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Admiral Michael Rogers, who heads the National Security Agency, Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and Robert Cardillo, who runs the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
This story has been updated and will update to reflect breaking news.