FBI director says McCabe 'retired' because of upcoming IG report
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe "resigned" yesterday after a meeting with the bureau's Director Chris Wray.
Wray strongly suggested in a letter to FBI employees that McCabe left the bureau because of what's in the forthcoming Department of Justice Inspector General report on how the bureau handled the investigation into the Clinton email case.
That internal investigation has been underway since January, 2017 and may include evidence of McCabe leaking information to the press, as well as other, more serious violations of procedure and perhaps even obstruction of justice.
There was much speculation yesterday on the right that McCabe was fired by Wray after the director read the FISA memo that Republicans want released to the public as soon as possible. But it is believed that McCabe met with Wray and resigned before the director met with Rep. Nunes on Sunday at the White House to read the contents of the FISA memo. He may very well be named in the FISA document, but the immediate cause of his firing was apparently the director's alarm after reading reports from the inspector general on his probe.
"It would be inappropriate for me to comment on specific aspects of the IG's review right now," Wray said in the message. "But I can assure you that I remain staunchly committed to doing this job, in every respect, 'by the book.' I will not be swayed by political or other pressure in my decision making."
In the next paragraph, Wray explained that McCabe had submitted his intention to retire, suggesting a connection between the findings of the IG report and McCabe's decision.
Several sources familiar with McCabe's move said he made his decision as a result of a meeting with Wray in which the inspector general's investigation was discussed.
News that McCabe would leave seven weeks before he was expected to retire triggered speculation on Monday that he was being forced out under political pressure from President Donald Trump. But several FBI insiders said that was not the case.
It's very possible that McCabe is prominenty mentioned in the IG report, which will be released in March or April.The IG is looking a several issues surrounding the Clinton email investigation.
In January 2017, the inspector general launched an inquiry into several areas: whether Comey ignored DOJ guidelines in making public pronouncements about the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server; whether McCabe should have been recused from the Clinton investigation; whether another DOJ employee should have been recused or gave information to the Clinton campaign; whether DOJ employees leaked information; and whether tweets containing documents about the Clintons shortly before the campaign were improper. The IG’s investigation has not yet become public.
The IG is also looking at whether it can be proved that partisan political considerations were a part of the investigation. Since McCabe was a point man in the Clinton probe while his wife was running for state senate in Virginia and receiving donations from Clinton crony Terry McAuliffe, the IG may judge that highly improper and possibly criminal.
The exoneration of Clinton by Comey will also be under a microscope. Was there pressure from AG Lynch to refuse to indict Clinton? Did Comey act improperly in reopening the investigation so close to the election?
There is apparently evidence that shows McCabe sitting on Anthony Weiner's laptop for weeks prior to the election, despite the fact that there were hundreds of copies of Clinton emails on the laptop's hard drive, some of them classified.
And the IG will also be looking at charges by anonymous sources at the bureau that McCabe pressured agents to change their reports on several interviews with principles in the investigation.
Investigative journalist Sara Carter reported on Fox News last night that outgoing FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe may be in serious trouble if the information she had received from FBI sources proves to be true.
"I have been told tonight by a number of sources ... that McCabe may have asked FBI agents to actually change their 302s," Carter told host Sean Hannity.
The 302 form contains information from the notes an FBI agent takes during an interview of a subject. It is used by FBI agents to "report or summarize the interviews that they conduct."
"So basically every time an FBI agent interviews a witness, they have to go back and file a report," Carter explained.
Hannity pointed out that, if true, it would constitute a case of obstruction of justice, and Carter agreed. She said the matter was being investigated by FBI Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
In short, there is plenty of dirt for the IG to investigate and McCabe appears to figure prominently in the wrong doing.
While it may not be entirely clear why McCabe resigned/was fired/ retired, what does seem clear is that his troubles are far from over and that several of his cronies could join him in the docket after the IG report comes out.