Andrew McCabe, the fired FBI deputy director, misled investigators multiple times about his role in a news media disclosure about Hillary Clinton just days before the 2016 presidential election, according to a Justice Department watchdog report.
The report alleges that McCabe authorized FBI officials to speak with a Wall Street Journal reporter for a story about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation and then misled FBI and Justice Department officials when later questioned about it.
McCabe denied the report’s allegations in a detailed rebuttal statement. McCabe says that when he believed his answers to the inspector general were misunderstood, he went back and tried to correct them. His lawyer says the inspector general unfairly tried to conclude its work before McCabe could retire with a full pension.
DOJ just issued the McCabe report – which is a total disaster. He LIED! LIED! LIED! McCabe was totally controlled by Comey – McCabe is Comey!! No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018
The report is sure to give additional fodder for President Donald Trump’s public attacks on McCabe. The president has made a concerted and Twitter-driven effort to impugn McCabe as a partisan hack, accusing him of covering up unspecified “lies and corruption” at the FBI and calling his firing a “great day for Democracy.” McCabe has fired back, saying his dismissal was part of the Trump administration’s “ongoing war” on the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Trump tweets: “DOJ just issued the McCabe report – which is a total disaster. He LIED! LIED! LIED!”
Trump claims “McCabe was totally controlled” by former FBI Director James Comey, adding, “McCabe is Comey!!”
The president is linking the report on McCabe to the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, tweeting, “No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!”
The report was sent to congressional committees and obtained by The Associated Press.
The inspector general’s finding led FBI disciplinary officials to recommend that the Justice Department fire McCabe. Attorney General Jeff Sessions dismissed him last month two days before his scheduled retirement for what he described as a lack of candor.
McCabe also has said he believes he was singled out because of the “role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath” of Comey’s firing. To support this, McCabe has noted that the inspector general’s investigation into him was accelerated after he told congressional investigators that he could corroborate Comey’s accounts of his conversations with Trump.
McCabe, who is close to Comey, could be an important witness for Mueller, who is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, including his motivation for firing Comey in May 2017. The Associated Press has also confirmed that McCabe kept personal memos detailing interactions with the president and they have been provided to the special counsel’s office.