This has to be making liberals very nervous.
Less than two months after the release of a Justice Department Inspector General’s report that showed just why former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe deserved to be fired from his job, and with yet another inspector general’s report due for release any day now, McCabe is asking for immunity in exchange for his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
And since that committee is investigating how the FBI handled the Hillary Clinton email scandal, that doesn’t look good for Democrats at all.
In a letter dated June 4, to Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Charles Grassley, McCabe’s attorney wrote that his client is willing to testify only if his words can’t be used against him in potential future criminal proceedings.
“Under the terms of such a grant of use immunity, no testimony or other information provided by Mr. McCabe could be used against him in a criminal case,” attorney Michael R. Bromwich wrote.
And if the committee isn’t willing to grant that immunity, Bromwich wrote, McCabe would simply refuse to testify.
“If this Committee is unwilling or unable to obtain such an order, then Mr. McCabe will have no choice but to invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination,” Bromwich wrote.
Simply put, this doesn’t look good for anyone involved from the Democrat perspective – not former FBI Director James Comey or the FBI and Justice Department under the Obama administration, not former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and most of all not Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama.
For liberals in the media, it might look even worse. Not that long ago, McCabe was being hailed by mainstream news outlets and openly leftist websites as the upright man being smeared by President Donald Trump’s administration.
Washington Post contributing columnist Ronald Klain, a veteran of the Bill Clinton and Obama White Houses who was an adviser to the Hillary Clinton campaign, published an op-ed in the Post portraying McCabe as a victim of Trump vindictiveness. It was headlined, “I Stand With Andrew McCabe.”
At the liberal website Vox, a piece by Ezra Klein was headlined: “Donald Trump’s corrupt firing of Andrew McCabe.”
At the radically leftist Mother Jones, blogger Kevin Drum wrote a piece in March titled “Andrew McCabe is Completely Innocent of Wrongdoing.” (He backtracked a little after the IG report in April showed McCabe was maybe not so “innocent” after all.)
To be fair, all these pieces allowed for the possibility that McCabe might have done something technically wrong enough to get himself terminated, but the overall spirit was that under Trump, a corrupt federal government was crushing an essentially innocent man.
Trump critics need that spirit for the liberal narrative to work, to keep convincing many Americans that Trump’s presidency is illegitimate and Hillary Clinton should have won the 2016 election.
McCabe’s demand for immunity, coupled with the idea that he will plead the Fifth Amendment to avoid potential criminal prosecution, shakes that narrative to the foundation.
The right to avoid self-incrimination in a criminal case is guaranteed by the United States Constitution, of course, and no one is presumed guilty under the law. But when a former FBI deputy director is forced to invoke it in a case involving the potential corruption of a presidential campaign, there’s clearly something deeper going on.
The idea that a man who was at the heart of the FBI’s election operation, the guy who worked closely with fanatical anti-Trump FBI Agent Peter Strzok and scheming, now-ex FBI lawyer Lisa Page, might have serious criminal matters to worry about as the Senate Judiciary Committee investigation plays out, is putting the whole anti-Trump narrative in a new light.
Headlines that go from “McCabe Is Innocent” to “McCabe Pleads the Fifth” are going to give Americans a different idea of what really happened with the FBI and the kids-gloves investigation of Hillary Clinton that almost gave her the presidency of the United States.
And that has to have liberals very, very nervous.
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