April 13, 2018
Ousted FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe improperly leaked information to a reporter and then lied to both his boss, then-Director James Comey, and to FBI agents investigating his behavior, the Justice Department inspector general said Friday.
Andrew McCabe lied, was source of WSJ leak, DOJ says
He was under oath when he lied to the FBI agents, the inspector general said in a lengthy new report that could prove devastating to Mr. McCabe’s credibility.
The report, which had been circulating inside the government for weeks, was used to justify Mr. McCabe’s firing earlier this year, just days before he was to take retirement and collect his pension.
The inspector general said Mr. McCabe authorized leaks to a Wall Street Journal reporter when he was trying to shape the narrative surrounding his role in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s secret emails.
Investigators said the 2016 leak confirmed the existence of an investigation the FBI had been silent on. The leak was inappropriate because it was done “to advance his personal interests,” the audit found.
He then lied to Mr. Comey, then to FBI agents and the inspector general in May and July 2017. In a follow-up interview late last year he “contradicted his prior statements,” the audit concluded.
“The OIG found that then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lacked candor, including under oath, on multiple occasions in connection with describing his role in connection with a disclosure to the WSJ, and that this conduct violated FBI Offense Codes 2.5 and 2.6,” the audit concluded.
“The OIG also concluded that McCabe’s disclosure of the existence of an ongoing investigation in the manner described in this report violated the FBI’s and the Department’s media policy and constituted misconduct.”
Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the report justifies Mr. McCabe’s firing. He vowed that his committee will continue to investigate the FBI’s decisions on investigations related to the 2016 election.
“The second in command at our nation’s premier law enforcement agency should be an epitome of fidelity, bravery and integrity,” he said. “This report continues to call into question decisions made by FBI leadership in 2016 and 2017, which is why the Oversight and Judiciary Committees will continue our joint investigation into the matter.”
The report is likely to fuel President Trump’s complaints about the FBI, about special counsel Bob Mueller’s probe into his own behavior and that of his 2016 campaign, and about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing Mr. Mueller.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Mr. McCabe and his former boss, Mr. Comey, deserve to go down in ignominy together.
“It sounds like two peas in a pod, McCabe and Comey,” Sarah Sanders says, adding that Mr. McCabe was “fired in disgrace.”
Democrats argued Friday that the matters were separate.
“The report issued by the Inspector General today has absolutely nothing to do with special counsel Mueller, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, the conduct of federal investigators so far, or the multiple indictments they have secured against Russian nationals and Trump campaign officials,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.
Still, he said, “President Trump will no doubt gloat about these findings and misuse them in his ongoing disinformation campaign.”
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