The inspector general of the Department of Justice has released a highly anticipated report on inappropriate actions taken by Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe with regards to an investigation into the Clinton Foundation, a charitable organization created by Bill and Hillary Clinton.
The investigation looked into whether political acts were committed in exchange for large contributions to the foundation on behalf of foreign governments. Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State in the Barack Obama administration from 2009 to 2013.
In October of 2016 the Wall Street Journal published an article by journalist Devlin Barret that revealed that a political-action committee run by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe contributed nearly $675,000 to a 2015 campaign for a Virginia State Senate seat by McCabe’s wife. The campaign was unsuccessful, but the article raised questions about the appropriateness of McCabe overseeing the Clinton investigation during his wife’s campaign. McAuliffe is a longtime political ally and close friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Barret was set to follow that article up with another article several days later, that quoted unnamed FBI agents who claimed McCabe had issued a “stand down” order to agents and that he made clear he wanted the investigation brought to an end. The agents said McCabe was bowing to pressure from officials from Barack Obama’s Justice Department at the time.
McCabe authorized two FBI officials, his then-Special Counsel and a member of the office of FBI public affairs, to speak with Barret to refute those claims. That authorization led to the public affirmation of the Clinton Foundation investigation, something then-FBI-Director James Comey had refused to confirm.
The DOJ’s inspector general then found that McCabe lied to internal investigators on three separate occasions when he denied having knowledge of who the officials were that spoke to Barret and who authorized them to do so.
McCabe was fired last month two days before his scheduled retirement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the “lack of candor” offense. It was also two days before his pension was to fully vest. McCabe had been with the FBI since 1996.
In a statement released by McCabe’s spokeswoman, his attorney Michael R. Bromwich harshly criticized the inspector general’s report and blamed the Justice Department for acquiescing to undue influence from President Trump.
“In the full context of this case, the termination of Mr. McCabe was completely unjustified. And the rush to fire him, at the goading of the President, was unworthy of the great traditions of the Department of Justice,” Bromwich wrote.
Photo by the FBI via Wikimedia Commons