Peter Schweizer, author of Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, told SiriusXM hosts Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak during Thursday’s Breitbart News Tonight that the legal woes potentially awaiting Andrew McCabe began when the former deputy FBI director lied by characterizing the Bureau’s investigations of Hillary Clinton as executed in good faith.
Schweizer said Andrew McCabe leaked disinformation to the news media in the weeks leading up to 2016’s presidential election to portray the FBI’s leadership as managing a good faith investigation into Clinton’s felonious handling of classified information by conducting government communications via a private email system.
He said, “There were a series of articles in late October of 2016, so we’re talking about a week or two at most before the election. What essentially happened was people in the FBI leaked to the Wall Street Journal that there were a lot of people at the FBI — not only on the email investigation, but the Clinton Foundation investigation — that felt like they were being stonewalled. McCabe, according to the IG report, essentially leaked that, ‘No, there was an investigation going on. There was no stonewalling.'” He added that he did this “to create the impression that there were no roadblocks in the way of proceeding when, in fact, there were.”
Schweizer continued, “So it’s a major problem for Andrew McCabe — because when the IG came to him to talk about the leaks, he essentially misled them — or in the vernacular, lied to them about it. What’s interesting about this … is not only is Andrew McCabe saying he wasn’t being deceptive; he’s saying that he was told by Comey that this was okay, that he authorized some leaks in the past, which Comey now denies. So you’ve got this really strange dynamic where Andrew McCabe is saying, ‘Well, I leaked, but I did so with the authority and the blessing of the then-FBI Director Jim Comey,’ and Jim Comey is saying, ‘No, he did not do it under my authority.’ So it’s going to be very interesting to see how this all shakes out. I think the finger pointing is only beginning.”
Schweizer noted how the genesis of today’s competing public relations campaigns between James Comey and Andrew McCabe lies in his Clinton Cash investigation. He reflected, “If you go back and look at an October 30, 2016, story, one of the stories mentioned in the IG report is a front-page piece in the Wall Street Journal that talks about the role that the book Clinton Cash played in launching the investigation, that apparently sealed offices of the FBI read the book. I think they, no doubt, had other information that they had tipped up, and the article alludes to that. Then there’s sort of an interesting series of paragraphs where some of the paragraphs say that the field offices of the FBI are frustrated because they are being hamstrung by headquarters and by the Obama Justice Department, but then you also have these paragraphs that essentially say, ‘No, Andrew McCabe is on the case, and he’s proceeding.’ Well, we now know based on the IG’s report that those paragraphs about Andrew McCabe being on the case, and it was proceeding, and everything’s good, was leaked by none other than Andrew McCabe.”
Schweizer recalled how McCabe’s wife was running for office in Virginia’s state Senate as a Democrat in 2016 while he broadly oversaw the FBI’s ostensible investigation of Clinton’s email system. He stated, “To put this into context, just a week or so before, these same Wall Street Journal reporters had broken the story about Andrew McCabe’s wife running for the state’s Senate, and more than half of her campaign money came from a PAC set up by Terry McAuliffe, who is a long-time bagman and fundraiser for the Clintons, who at the time was also governor of Virginia. There were a lot of angles here. … I have several friends who are former senior FBI officials, and they made clear to me that the notion that you could have a spouse of a senior FBI official running for a partisan political position and that would be tolerated at the FBI is totally new. That would not have been tolerated in the past. That was a very frustrating position for a lot of people at the FBI. They did not like the high profile in which McCabe was proceeding. He said he was not going to be involved in his wife’s campaign, and, of course, there were pictures of him actually campaigning for his wife, and McCabe’s solution to try to deal with this was to control it by leaking to the media, and then when he was confronted about it, of course, he lied about it, and that’s where his legal problems begin.”
Mansour described McCabe’s news media strategy as “typical beltway permanent political class behavior.” She then asked Schweizer, “It seems as if the Clintons are the Teflon crooks. How do they always weasel out of this? How do they get away with it?”
Schweizer explained the favorable treatment Clinton received from the FBI to protect her presidential ambitions. He remarked, “When Hillary Clinton was questioned, she was not put under oath. It was not done in a sort of public way. It was done very privately. She was snuck in, [and] she was snuck out of that interview. A lot of the questions about the conduct of her lawyers, the fact that her lawyers were the ones who were going through and deleting the emails, choosing which ones to delete, the fact that they invoked attorney-client privilege when it seemed that it was not appropriate as it related to this kind of conduct. What you see emerging with Comey and FBI leadership is giving the Clintons pass after pass after pass after pass, and that, I think, is a huge problem, particularly in the context of the kinds of activities the Clintons were engaged in. They have enjoyed the protections of people in the past. I think in this case, I would argue that the FBI essentially bent over backwards to essentially cover for the Clintons, and now, it’s all coming out. I think it’s going to lead to a lot of questions. It already has on Capitol Hill with this criminal referral. People are saying we need to take another look at this because it seems as if the fix were in as it related to the previous investigation of these matters.”
Clinton’s interview with the FBI was not recorded. The FBI did not pursue Cheryl Mills — Clinton’s former chief of staff at the State Department — for perjury after making false statements about Clinton’s unauthorized email system through which she evaded governmental capture of her electronic communications.
Mansour asked Schweizer if President Donald Trump will move on promises to combat political corruption, most commonly expressed during “Lock her up!” chants related to the former first lady’s alleged monetization of political influence.
Schweizer replied, “Where it stands with the Clintons right now is, there is an ongoing investigation relating to the Clinton Foundation. It’s been going on for awhile. I know that they have additional materials related to the emails. That material is there. It’s now up to the FBI. More specifically, it’s up to the Trump Department of Justice to take the next step because where were we back in 2016? We were in a situation where the FBI field offices were ready to process. They wanted subpoena powers. They wanted a greater ability to investigate the Clinton Foundation. … They were not given that by the Obama Justice Department. The Trump Justice Department could grant those wishes tomorrow. Perhaps they already have, but that is the next step so that we can look and see precisely what happened and bring this thing to a conclusion one way or another.”
Schweizer warned of the dangers in allowing political corruption to go unpunished. He said, “This is about something far more important than Bill and Hillary Clinton. They are probably not likely to run for office ever again, but the point is the precedent it sets. Are we really going to say now that senior government officials can set up a private server and then destroy emails when Congress has subpoenaed them? Are we really going to say that senior government officials can set up pay-to-play foundations, and they’re not going to face any legal repercussions? This is not about going after the Clintons. This is about dealing with very serious issues that they have established a precedent for, and we cannot allow that precedent to be common in this country because it’s very detrimental to our future.”
Schweizer described the Clintons as trailblazing innovative pioneers in the realm of political corruption. He stated, “The Clintons are the bridge here. The Clintons globalized corruption with the Clinton Foundation. They took foreign government money while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, our chief diplomat, and it’s now happening both with Republicans and Democrats. It’s a new radical change.”
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Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.