I’d love to see this happen but I’m skeptical and here’s why: This guy just got a job at CNN. Would CNN have hired him if there was an imminent chance he’d be prosecuted? I don’t think so. Seems more likely to me they held off until they were pretty certain this cloud was about to dissipate. Anyway, Fox News is reporting it could happen:
Federal prosecutors appear to be close to a decision on whether to charge former FBI official Andrew McCabe over the circumstances that led to his firing from the bureau last year, Fox News has learned.
A source close to the process said that McCabe has had a “target on his back” because of the Justice Department inspector general findings against him over actions during the Hillary Clinton email investigation, as well as his role in the surveillance warrants against Trump campaign associates during the Russia investigation. McCabe is a former deputy and acting director of the FBI.
The New York Times, which first reported the developments Monday, said McCabe’s lawyers recently met with DOJ attorneys who would handle a prosecution – an indication of a possible indictment.
The Department of Justice Inspector General released a report on McCabe last April which concluded that he had displayed a “lack of candor” related to an unauthorized leak to the Wall Street Journal about the Clinton Foundation investigation. Lack of candor is FBI-speak for lying. The report specified three instances in which McCabe had lied, once to his boss James Comey and twice when questioned about the leaks under oath. From the report:
We found that, in a conversation with then-Director Comey shortly after the WSJ article was published, McCabe lacked candor when he told Comey, or made statements that led Comey to believe, that McCabe had not authorized the disclosure and did not know who did. This conduct violated FBI Offense Code 2.5 (Lack of Candor – No Oath).
We also found that on May 9, 2017, when questioned under oath by FBI agents from INSD, McCabe lacked candor when he told the agents that he had not authorized the disclosure to the WSJ and did not know who did. This conduct violated FBI Offense Code 2.6 (Lack of Candor – Under Oath).
We further found that on July 28, 2017, when questioned under oath by the OIG in a recorded interview, McCabe lacked candor when he stated: (a) that he was not aware of Special Counsel having been authorized to speak to reporters around October 30 and (b) that, because he was not in Washington, D.C., on October 27 and 28, 2016, he was unable to say where Special Counsel was or what she was doing at that time. This conduct violated FBI Offense Code 2.6 (Lack of Candor – Under Oath).
That’s from the report’s executive summary, but later the IG report gets into specifics about McCabe’s lies under oath. When he was confronted about the leak, he told agents he had no idea who was responsible, essentially making himself the victim:
On 05/09/2017, [INSD-Section Chief] and [INSD-SSA1] provided me with a photocopy of a Wall Street Journal article, dated 10/30/2016, and requested I evaluate and assess the content of the first three paragraphs appearing on the last page for accuracy. My assessment of the referenced portion of the article is that it is basically an accurate depiction of an actual telephonic interaction I had with a Department of Justice (DOJ) executive. I do not know the identity of the source of the information contained in the article. Since this event, I have shared the circumstances of this interaction with numerous FBI senior executives and other FBI personnel. I gave no one authority to share any information relative to my interaction with the DOJ executive with any member of the media. I initialed a photocopy of the article, which is attached to my statement as Exhibit Number 5.
After hearing this from McCabe, investigators sent him an account which he was supposed to sign and return to show it was an accurate summary of what he had said. McCabe never signed or returned it. After he was fired, McCabe issued a statement claiming that his answers under oath had been misunderstood and that when he learned of it, he tried to correct them.
The investigation subsequently focused on who I talked to, when I talked to them, and so forth. During these inquiries, I answered questions truthfully and as accurately as I could amidst the chaos that surrounded me. And when I thought my answers were misunderstood, I contacted investigators to correct them.
However, when he was interviewed by the Office of the Inspector General, McCabe claimed the two agents who had previously interviewed him must have been confused:
During his OIG interview on November 29, 2017, McCabe provided a very different account of his interactions with INSD on May 9. Specifically, McCabe told the OIG that the INSD agents “must have” gotten it wrong when they wrote in the draft SSS that he told them on May 9 that he did not authorize the conversation and that he did not know who the source was. McCabe said that he did not believe he told INSD that he did not authorize the disclosure, but added “I don’t remember what I said to them.” He added “I don’t remember discussing authorization of that article” with INSD and that “the INSD folks and I walked away from that, from that exchange with a difference in understanding.” However, he acknowledged to the OIG that his initials appeared on the copy of the WSJ article that INSD presented to him for review during the interview. McCabe told the OIG that he did not know and could not explain how INSD got the impression that he thought it was an unauthorized leak because he said he does not believe he told INSD that.
McCabe filed a lawsuit against the DOJ in June. In August he filed a lawsuit against the FBI claiming he was fired as the result of a partisan witch hunt stoked by President Trump. Given that all of this is circling around McCabe at this moment, you have to wonder why CNN thought now was a good time to hire him. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple found it odd too:
To sum up: Here is a prominent public figure with “real” credibility issues, deep involvement in the Russia investigation, not to mention a just-getting-started civil action against two top law enforcement officials. By the way, that civil action carries an allegation that President Trump “purposefully and intentionally caused the unlawful actions of Defendants and other Executive Branch subordinates that led to Plaintiff’s demotion and purported termination.”
McCabe appears to be a liar and may still face charges, plus he’s claiming in the courts that the president has it out for him personally. Why would CNN hire someone like this unless they know something we don’t? Then again, CNN has had a pretty rough go of it in the past few weeks. Maybe this is just one more item to add to the list: