It’s starting to look more and more like Friday night’s firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe may lead to the investigation and arrest of former FBI Director James Comey and who knows how many more.
McCabe was fired because he was accused of misleading investigators about allegedly giving information to a former Wall Street Journal reporter about the investigation of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton family’s charitable foundation, The Clinton Foundation. McCabe asserts in his post-firing statement that he not only had authority to share that information with the media but did so with the knowledge of “the director.” The FBI director at the time was James Comey and all this goes against what he had previously stated under oath.
President Donald Trump wasted no time to opine on the matter:
Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2018
To which Comey replied:
I wonder if you and @HillaryClinton can be cell mates? 🤔
— al_waisman (@fspilot1971) March 18, 2018
Of course, Comey is referring to his much-anticipated book in the above statement.
And today, Trump fired back at Comey with a few epic Tweets.
Wow, watch Comey lie under oath to Senator G when asked “have you ever been an anonymous source…or known someone else to be an anonymous source…?” He said strongly “never, no.” He lied as shown clearly on @foxandfriends.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2018
Spent very little time with Andrew McCabe, but he never took notes when he was with me. I don’t believe he made memos except to help his own agenda, probably at a later date. Same with lying James Comey. Can we call them Fake Memos?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2018
So in order to defend himself from being fired three days before getting his pension, McCabe pointed the finger at Comey as the one who was leaking confidential information to the media. Along with lying to Congress while under oath, McCabe then added he was singled out after attacks by President Trump and his critics within the FBI and Congress. But in order to defend his actions, McCabe explained that what he had done with the reporter wasn’t a secret and it took place over several days.
Here’s Comey’s testimony under oath before Congress in 2017:
‘Director Comey, have you ever been an anonymous source in news reports about matters relating to the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation?
GRASSLEY: Question two, relatively related, have you ever authorized someone else at the FBI to be an anonymous source in news reports about the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation?
McCabe released a statement on Saturday which contradicts what Comey said. McCabe asserts that Comey himself knew McCabe was leaking.
Here’s McCabe’s statement:
‘The OIG investigation has focused on information I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor. As Deputy Director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the Director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter. It was the type of exchange with the media that the Deputy Director oversees several times per week.’
If by “interaction” McCabe means he leaked the information then his statement comes into direct conflict with Comey’s narrative of what went on as he explained to Congress in May of 2017. During which Comey confirmed he didn’t give the authorization for anyone to speak on the matter to the public or the media as an anonymous source.
Here is more information on the McCabe Trump memo feud via The Wall Street Journal:
‘President Donald Trump on Sunday sought to undercut reports that fired former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe has provided memos describing his conversations with the president to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
In a Twitter posting on Sunday morning, Mr. Trump wrote that he “spent very little time with Andrew McCabe, but he never took notes when he was with me.”
“I don’t believe he made memos except to help his own agenda, probably at a later date,” Mr. Trump wrote. “Same with lying James Comey. Can we call them Fake Memos?”
Mr. McCabe was fired late Friday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions after the Justice Department’s inspector general found a “lack of candor’’ in Mr. McCabe’s disclosures about contact with the news media. The FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility recommends dismissal if “lack of candor’’ is found, but allies of Mr. McCabe say the finding was rushed and lacks a substantive basis.
On Saturday, a person familiar with the situation said Mr. McCabe had written memos, soon after the events they describe, detailing his interactions with Mr. Trump, the White House and what former FBI Director James Comey told him about his own dealings. They were provided to Mr. Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.
The memos outlined three or four meetings or calls between Messrs. McCabe and Trump, the person familiar with the situation said. While it wasn’t the main point of the memos, the documents say that, in each interaction, Mr. Trump commented on Mr. McCabe’s wife, who ran for the state Senate in Virginia in 2015 as a Democrat and received campaign funding from the political organization of then-Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Mr. Trump on Sunday also questioned Mr. Mueller’s staff of prosecutors. “Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans?…Does anyone think this is fair?” he wrote on Twitter.
Some leading Republicans on Sunday challenged Mr. McCabe’s firing and warned against terminating Mr. Mueller’s effort. Mr. McCabe was fired two days before his expected retirement, leaving in doubt his ability to claim his federal pension.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) said on NBC that Mr. McCabe should have been allowed to retire, and that if an inspector general’s report due to come out found wrongdoing, “there’s things you can do in the future to sort of impact his benefits or whatever that’s warranted.’’
“I don’t like the way it went down,’’ he said of Mr. McCabe’s firing. “I would have done it differently.’’
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) urged Mr. Trump not to end Mr. Mueller’s investigation.
John Dowd, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, called on Saturday for the Justice Department to end Mr. Mueller’s probe into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.
“That would be the beginning of the end of his presidency, because we are a rule of law nation,” Mr. Graham told CNN.
Sen. James Lankford (R., Okla.), seeking to explain Mr. Trump’s tweets, said, ‘’The president’s exceptionally frustrated, that he wants to be able to see this investigation come to an end…. The president seems to be very, very frustrated that they’ve not connected anything to him and he wants to be able to move on.”
Mr. Lankford also commented on the president’s assertion that the Mueller investigative team is stocked with Democrats. “It is odd the number of Democrats that he’s put on board his team,’’ he said on ABC. “That does raise some flags in some sense there…The key thing, again, that he can do is bring out the facts and he seems to be doing that.’’
Mr. Mueller is a Republican.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) told CNN that any move to dismiss Mr. Mueller would cross a “massive red line” that would spark opposition in Congress.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) said on Fox that Mr. Dowd’s remarks were “a disservice,” adding, “If you have an innocent client, Mr. Dowd, act like it.” Mr. Gowdy is a member of the House Intelligence Committee and a former federal prosecutor.
Mr. McCabe’s attorney, Michael R. Bromwich, responded to Mr. Trump’s comments on Sunday, calling the president’s tweets “childish, defamatory, disgusting & false.’’
Writing on Twitter, Mr. Bromwich said, “The whole truth will come out in due course. but the tweets confirm that he has corrupted the entire process that led to Mr. McCabe’s termination and rendered it illegitimate.’