Documents have emerged proving that former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe, whom President Donald Trump fired, lied to the FBI about a leak he authorized in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.
The FBI documents, released in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the left-wing group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), show that McCabe first told FBI investigators in May 2017 that he did not authorize a leak to the Wall Street Journal in late 2016 that the agency had opened a probe into Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. The October 30, 2016, Wall Street Journal story, from Devlin Barrett, revealed that the agency was in an “internal feud” over the Clinton probes.
The New York Post‘s Bob Fredericks wrote about the documents:
McCabe in May 2017 denied that he was the source of the leak — but later fessed up, angering bureau investigators who had been spinning their wheels trying to identify the source of the leak. The documents, which the FBI released in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, include transcripts of McCabe’s conversations with investigators, who were frustrated after wasting their time on the probe. On Aug. 18, 2017, FBI officials grilled McCabe again to try to unravel what they said was ‘conflicting information’ they had gathered about the possible leak to the Journal, The Daily Beast reported.”
During that later interview in August 2017, McCabe admitted he did indeed authorize the leak. From the New York Post story summarizing the documents:
“I need to know from you, did you authorize this article? Were you aware of it? Did you authorize it?” an agent asked McCabe,
The agent then described his response: “And as nice as could be, he said, ‘Yep. Yep I did.’”
The investigator then said that “things had suddenly changed 180 degrees with this” after McCabe’s admission, which turned his initial denials into a potential crime.
“In our business, we stop and say, look, now we’re getting into an area for due process,” the agent said.
“I was very careful to say… with all due respect, this is what you told us. This has caused us some kind of, you know, sidetracking here now with some information other people have told us,” the agent said, growing increasingly frustrated.
“I remember saying to him, at, I said, ‘Sir, you understand that we’ve put a lot of work into this based on what you told us,’” the agent said.
“I mean, and I even said, long nights and weekends working on this, trying to find out who amongst your ranks of trusted people would, would do something like that.’ And he kind of just looked down, kind of nodded, and said ‘Yeah I’m sorry.”
Technically, it is a crime to lie to the FBI. But McCabe has not been charged with any crime.
A White House official told Breitbart News it is a travesty that McCabe has not yet been charged with any crime.
“Andrew McCabe, while serving as Deputy Director of the FBI, lied to the FBI,” the White House official told Breitbart News. “Then he lied about lying. He has thrown thousands of men in jail for lying to federal investigators. This hypocrisy cannot go unpunished.”
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), a leading voice in the House GOP conference, also blasted McCabe for this saying that he committed a crime and should face the consequences anyone else caught lying to the FBI would face:
This is a crime. People go to jail for this. When the Deputy Director of the FBI is the guilty party, it's even worse.https://t.co/cMdyKpffgC
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) January 2, 2020
Fredericks, in the New York Post, described McCabe’s and his lawyers’ responses to the revelations that he lied during the investigation as simply he was unprepared for the question:
McCabe’s lawyer has said his story changed because in the first interview he wasn’t prepared for the question, and that he was soon distracted by President Trump’s firing of FBI chief James Comey, whom McCabe replaced as acting director.
McCabe, who said he was confused when first questioned, was fired in March 2018, two days before he was expected to retire on orders from President Trump, who called his ouster a “great day for democracy.”
McCabe served briefly as acting director of the FBI when President Trump fired former FBI director James Comey. Trump later fired McCabe, too, days before he was set to retire. McCabe has since joined CNN as a contributor.