Disgraced former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was fired Friday night, two days prior to his official retirement with full benefits, by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on recommendations from both the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility and the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General.
And it looks like he might not want to go down alone.
McCabe was fired for allegedly lying to federal investigators and for making alleged unauthorized disclosures to the media about sensitive investigations. Basically, he is alleged to have “lacked candor” with investigators about making anonymous leaks to a Wall Street Journal reporter about the status of the Clinton Foundation investigation in 2016.
In what could only be described as an already prepared statement, McCabe released a letter shortly after his termination that attempted to give his side of the story and asserted that he had been “singled out” by a vindictive President Donald Trump for removal, a laughable claim given the recommendations of the Obama-era-initiated inspector general’s investigation led by the Obama-appointed IG and career bureaucrats at the FBI’s OPR.
But there was something else in McCabe’s statement that caught the eye of law professor Jonathan Turley, who described in The Hill how McCabe appeared to have contradicted his former boss, former FBI Director James Comey, and essentially accused him of committing perjury.
In dispute of the allegations of unauthorized leaks to the media, McCabe wrote, “I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor. As deputy director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter.”
Turley pointed out that since Comey was the director at that time, McCabe’s claim that his leaks were authorized — or at least done with the knowledge of — his boss would run completely counter to testimony delivered under oath by Comey in May 2017 during a congressional hearing.
In that hearing, Comey was asked directly by Sen. Chuck Grassley if he himself had “ever been an anonymous source in news reports about matters relating to the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation” or if he had “ever authorized someone else at the FBI to be an anonymous source in news reports about the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation,” to which Comey had replied without hesitation “Never” and “No.”
Thus, we now know that either Comey or McCabe has lied about the leaks to The Wall Street Journal reporter. If Comey told Congress the truth that he never authorized any leaks to the media, then McCabe just lied and threw Comey under the bus to save his own skin.
Likewise, if McCabe is telling the truth that he had permission to leak information to the reporter, then that means Comey lied under oath to Congress when he denied ever authorizing such leaks.
If it turns out that McCabe just lied, it represents little more than cornered rats biting each other as they attempt to flee a sinking ship, as he was already fired for lying and faces potential prosecution for such. What is one more charge in that case?
But if Comey is the one who lied, he stands to suffer more than McCabe from the exposure, as he is about to launch a lucrative book tour to promote his memoir, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership.”
Oh, the irony.
Furthermore, Comey is already facing scrutiny over how he handled the Clinton investigation as well as memos he allegedly wrote about his interactions with Trump and kept after he was fired, some of which were leaked to a friend in the media and which may contain classified information.
On top of that, Turley noted that if it were McCabe who lied and he somehow avoids prosecution for the crime, then he just inadvertently opened the door for President Donald Trump to issue a full pardon for former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who was forced by special counsel Robert Mueller to plead guilty to lying to investigators, a crime it appears McCabe just committed.
One of these two individuals — Comey or McCabe — was lying about leaks to the media, as they both can’t be telling contradictory truth about the same incident in question.
We will know for sure which is the case when the OIG report is released to the public and the full extent of alleged partisan misconduct of FBI leadership is revealed.
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