After FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was fired Friday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions — based on recommendations from the Department of Justice Inspector General and the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility — McCabe cried foul and asserted that he was “singled out” by the Trump administration for political retribution.
Democrats seized on McCabe’s rebuttal and pointed out that President Donald Trump and others have questioned McCabe’s apparent political bias for some time, most notably ties between him, his wife and Democrat politicians. There have also been allegations that McCabe provided political cover for failed Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton regarding the investigation of her email scandal and family foundation.
But according to an exclusive report from ABC News, it appears that McCabe may have been leading his own politically-motivated criminal investigation against Sessions based on recommendations from elected Democrats over the past year.
That investigation reportedly focused on Sessions’ alleged “lack of candor” — which is also one of the reasons why McCabe was just fired — and “misleading” responses during his Justice Department confirmation hearings in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in January last year.
Recall how Sessions was extensively grilled by Democrat senators over alleged contacts with the Russians during the 2016 campaign, and how he had repeatedly assured them that he’d had no contact with any Russians as part of his role with the Trump campaign. (Emphasis added.)
Two months later, The Washington Post attempted a “gotcha” hit piece on Sessions when it reported on two 2016 meetings Sessions had with a Russian ambassador. Sessions cleared up the confusion and noted that those chance meetings occurred during his time as a sitting U.S. senator. It should be noted that there were numerous other senators from both sides of the aisle who were also at those meetings.
Nevertheless, ABC reported that two top Democrats on the committee at that time — Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy and then-Minnesota Sen. Al Franken — sent a letter in March 2017 to then-FBI Director James Comey urging an investigation into “all contacts” made by Sessions with Russians, which McCabe reportedly proceeded to open.
The senators demanded to know “whether any laws were broken in the course of those contacts or in any subsequent discussion of whether they occurred.”
They also took issue with the fact that Sessions “made no attempt to correct his misleading testimony until The Washington Post revealed that, in fact, he had at least two meetings with the Russian ambassador.”
“We know he would not tolerate dishonesty if he were in our shoes,” they stated.
Of course, Sessions called the allegations that he misled members of Congress “false.” Further, the demand for an investigation came even as Sessions had already recused himself from all matters related to Russia, handing authority of the investigations to his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, who proceeded to appoint former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel for matters relating to the 2016 election.
The sources told ABC that only a handful of top congressional leaders, both Republicans and Democrats, were informed of the investigation against the attorney general during a closed-door meeting in 2017 with Rosenstein and McCabe.
At least one of ABC’s sources made it clear that Sessions himself was never made aware of McCabe’s investigation against him, thus it played no role whatsoever in his decision to fire McCabe.
Furthermore, though Sessions’ own attorney Chuck Cooper declined to confirm or deny whether his client had any knowledge of McCabe’s investigation against him, he did confirm that Sessions was interviewed by Special Counsel Mueller two months ago and that McCabe’s investigation into his client’s alleged “lack of candor” with the Senate was already closed.
“The Special Counsel’s office has informed me that after interviewing the attorney general and conducting additional investigation, the attorney general is not under investigation for false statements or perjury in his confirmation hearing testimony and related written submissions to Congress,” Cooper told ABC on Wednesday.
ABC reported that a representative for McCabe declined to provide any comment for their exclusive article.
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