Andrew McCabe, the former deputy FBI director who was controversially fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March, “lacked candor” in comments about media disclosures he made regarding an investigation into the Clinton Foundation, according to a highly-anticipated report released by the inspector general’s office Friday.
In the report, the Department of Justice’s Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz concludes that McCabe had authorized aides to provide information to the Wall Street Journal in October 2016 about the bureau’s probe into Hillary Clinton, and repeatedly denied doing so when pressed by DOJ investigators.
The Wall Street Journal article, published days before the 2016 election, revealed internal discord among federal law enforcement officials over how to proceed with an investigation into Clinton’s family charity.
McCabe authorized aides to discuss the investigation with reporter Devlin Barrett, according to the inspector general. Then, McCabe led his then-FBI Director James Comey to believe that he “had not authorized the disclosure and did not know who did,” the report read. According to the report, McCabe also misled internal investigators three times over the course of 2017 regarding the media disclosures — while under oath.
Further, the report concluded that his disclosures to the Journal were not in the “public interest,” and therefore a violation of the bureau’s media policy.
President Donald Trump cheered the report on Friday and used it to attack Comey.
“He LIED! LIED! LIED!” Trump tweeted Friday afternoon. “McCabe was totally controlled by Comey - McCabe is Comey!! No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!”
McCabe and Comey — whose May 2017 axing by Trump has been a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible obstruction of justice on the part of the president — have been frequent targets of Trump’s ire. Trump has accused McCabe, who briefly served as the interim FBI director following Comey’s dismissal, of being an ally of Clinton. He has been even harsher on Comey, whom he bashed Friday as a “proven LEAKER & LIAR.”
“He is a weak and untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible director of the FBI,” Trump tweeted. “It was my great honor to fire James Comey!”
The tweets came ahead of the release of Comey’s memoir on Tuesday, which recounts his suspicious interactions with Trump and paints a deeply unflattering portrait of the president.
Trump’s attacks on the FBI have been seen as part of a larger effort to discredit investigators examining his campaign’s ties to Russia, along with the possibility that he sought to interfere with the probe.
In a blistering statement in March, McCabe framed his firing as being “part of this administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the special counsel investigation.”
However, the inspector general report is highly-critical of the former deputy FBI director, concluding that he violated FBI Offense Codes 2.5 and 2.6: lacking candor not under oath, and lacking candor under oath. The report also concluded that his media disclosures “served only to advance McCabe’s personal interests and not the public interest, as required by FBI policy.”