Update: Well, just as Comey had a personal “leaker” to deliver his Trump-memos to the NYT, so McCabe had found a quick line of communication to the press involving “confidential” matters surrounding the Mueller probe, and Axios reports, McCabe has met with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and has turned over memos detailing interactions with President Trump, “according to a source familiar with the exchange.”
Axios’ source reveals that the memos include corroboration by McCabe of Comey’s account of his own firing by Trump, as well as an account of at least one in-person meeting with Trump, which however considering McCabe was fired for perjury – among other things – may not carry quite as much weight.
McCabe had previously alluded to the memos in the statement after his firing, in which he said: “My testimony to the House Intelligence Committee revealed that I would corroborate former Director Comey’s accounts of his discussions with the President.”
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After former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was fired by the Justice Department late on Friday night just two days before his retirement, because he lied under oath or as AG Sessions said, McCabe “lacked candor – including under oath – on multiple occasions… all FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal”, McCabe has decided he won’t go down quietly in what he has dubbed the Trump administration’s “war on the FBI.”
McCabe, who briefly led the agency after Director James Comey was fired, said his dismissal by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday night was the latest attack on his credibility. He has claimed he’s being singled out because of what he witnessed in the aftermath of Comey’s ouster.
Of course, some – such as ethics officials belonging to the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility – beg to differ: after all it was they who recommended McCabe’s dismissal on Thursday for lying to the Inspector General in the course of a government investigation. As CBS News justice correspondent Paula Reid noted, McCabe’s termination takes place just days before the highly anticipated release of the Inspector General’s report which is expected to show that he leaked information with the media about the agency’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation, and lied under oath.
McCabe has pushed back hard, saying his firing is yet another attempt by the administration to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election process, and allegations that Mr. Trump’s campaign colluded with those efforts. In a statement, McCabe wrote that he was, “being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey.”
McCabe said in his statement that the inspector general’s report was fast-tracked after he told the House Intelligence Committee he would corroborate Comey’s accounts of conversations he had with the president. Comey has testified that Trump asked if he would end an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
McCabe also spoke directly about the ongoing Russia investigation in his statement (full statement below):
“It is part of this administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the special counsel investigation, which continue to this day,” McCabe said. “Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the special counsel’s work.”
But what about the report by the “independent and impartial” Inspector General, which remember was launched after Democrats forced the DOJ IG to open an investigation into handling of Clinton email investigation… or in other words, McCabe was fired because of 1) an IG investigation demanded by Democrats that was 2) directed by an Obama IG appointee resulted in 3) a recommendation from the FBI’s ethics office that McCabe be terminated.
Well, in a phone interview with CBS News’ senior investigator producer Pat Milton, McCabe said he rejected the findings in the (Inspector General’s) report, calling it “misleading and unfair.” Obviously.
“I strongly believe this is the latest chapter in a yearlong attack on my credibility and service to the country,” McCabe said.
Well that, or simply the facts are finally coming out, and until refuted, they confirm the corruption, party bias and cronyism that many had said is prevalent at the FBI.
As for the full OIG report due any day now, recall that the former FBI assistant director Chris Swecker said that it will contain “some pure TNT”, so that’s something else to look forward to as the public decides if the yearlong attack on McCabe’s credibility – which started with the WSJ’s October 2016 report that a “Clinton Ally Aided Campaign of FBI Official’s Wife” – is justified.
Ex-FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker puts Comey & McCabe on notice: ‘Some pure TNT’ will come out in the Inspector General report. pic.twitter.com/QdS3WkiTJ7
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) March 16, 2018
McCabe also said that “to have my career end in this way, and to be accused of lacking candor when at worst I was distracted in the midst of chaotic events, is incredibly disappointing and unfair. But it will not erase the important work I was privileged to be a part of, the results of which will in the end be revealed for the country to see.”
Some, like the president, would disagree.
Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2018
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So what are McCabe’s next steps?
Well, it appears the former deputy director will not go down without a fight, and as the Daily Beast reports, McCabe has lawyered up, hiring Michael Bromwich of the Bromwich Group, who confirmed to The Daily Beast that he is “representing McCabe for the purposes of the matter that led to his firing.”
This certainly suggests that McCabe will sue the administration for firing him for political reasons, with some in the press already salivating what discovery will reveal about Sessions, Trump and everyone else in this growing conflict.
Still, that McCabe is retaining counsel is not surprising. What is, however, and may add a potential twist to this latest battle between Trump and the FBI, is that according to the AP, McCabe kept personal memos regarding Trump that are similar to the notes compiled by dismissed FBI chief James Comey detailing interactions with him, which could become a key part of evidence in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe.
The AP notes, that it was not immediately clear whether any of McCabe’s memos have been turned over to special counsel Robert Mueller, whose criminal investigation is examining Trump campaign ties to Russia and possible obstruction of justice, or been requested by Mueller.
McCabe’s memos include details of interactions with the president, among other topics, according to an AP source “with direct knowledge of the situation who wasn’t authorized to discuss the memos publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.” As Bloomberg adds, Mueller has shown interest in McCabe’s interactions with the president, though Comey’s conversations might more squarely fit into a possible obstruction of justice case.
The disclosure came hours after Trump called McCabe’s firing by Attorney General Jeff Sessions as a “a great day for Democracy.”
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Below is Andrew McCabe’s full statement (link):