Efrem Zimbalist Jr., where are you? You are needed. If you are at least 60 years old I am sure you remember the TV series, the F.B.I., which featured Zimbalist as FBI Agent Lewis Erskine. That show did more to promote the image of the FBI has a straight up, honorable institution then any other PR stunt. It came at a time when news was surfacing that the FBI had spied on Martin Luther King and other Americans. But those real world events did little to tarnish the FBI reputation, which had been carefully stage managed and burnished by Hoover and his successors.
Well, those days are over. We now have the spectacle of Jim Comey and Andy McCabe. Their escapades are exposing a highly politicized FBI that was easily seduced into punishing political enemies and shading investigations in favor of politicians that embraced the FBI leadership. No blind justice with these cats. Their eyes were firmly fixed on identifying whether the potential target of an investigation was friend or foe. If you were a friend, you got a pass. If you were the enemy then prison rape was in your future.
The last two weeks have produced very important documentary evidence of the problems with Comey and McCabe. While those two were in cahoots in sand bagging a legitimate investigation of Hillary Clinton and fabricating one against Donald Trump, the expression karma is a bitch appears to be coming true for both.
My current piece will be focused almost exclusively on Andy McCabe. He was fired, there was grumbling that this was unfair political payback. And then we got a look at the Department of Justice Inspector General's report. Liar, liar pants on fire. Although the OIG report is very poorly written (as you read through the 39 pages you'll feel like a young Yeshiva student pouring over some tendentious exegesis by an elderly Hasidic Rabbi), it contains damning evidence of malfeasance on the part of McCabe. So let me simplify it for you.
McCabe was fired because he lied about his role in leaking information in late October 2016 toWall Street Journal reporter, Devlin Barrett, who authored the article, FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe. Barrett's article is not much better than the IG report in terms of simplicity and clarity. It lacks both. It is poorly written and requires a compass and advanced land navigation skills to map out the story. This is the bottomline of the article–Andy McCabe is accused of ordering FBI Agents to not investigate the Clinton Foundation because his wife got money from Virginia Governor and Clinton confidant, Terry McAuliffe. Here are the salient points from that article:
- The surprise disclosure that agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation are taking a new look at Hillary Clinton’s email use lays bare, just days before the election, tensions inside the bureau and the Justice Department over how to investigate the Democratic presidential nominee.
- The latest development began in early October when New York-based FBI officials notified Andrew McCabe, the bureau’s second-in-command, that while investigating Mr. Weiner for possibly sending sexually charged messages to a teenage minor, they had recovered a laptop.
- Mr. McCabe then instructed the email investigators to talk to the Weiner investigators and see whether the laptop’s contents could be relevant to the Clinton email probe, these people said. After the investigators spoke, the agents agreed it was potentially relevant.
- Mr. Comey was given an update, decided to go forward with the case and notified Congress on Friday (28 October 2016), with explosive results.
- Senior Justice Department officials had warned the FBI that telling Congress would violate policies against overt actions that could affect an election, and some within the FBI have been unhappy at Mr. Comey’s repeated public statements on the probe, going back to his press conference on the subject in July.
- The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Mr. McCabe’s wife, Jill McCabe, received $467,500 in campaign funds in late 2015 from the political-action committee of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime ally of the Clintons and, until he was elected governor in November 2013, a Clinton Foundation board member.
- In February of this year (2016), Mr. McCabe ascended from the No. 3 position at the FBI to the deputy director post. When he assumed that role, officials say, he started overseeing the probe into Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server for government work when she was secretary of state.
- According to a person familiar with the probes, on Aug. 12, a senior Justice Department official (Matthew Axelrod according to Zero Hedge) called Mr. McCabe to voice his displeasure at finding that New York FBI agents were still openly pursuing the Clinton Foundation probe during the election season. . . .The Justice Department official was “very pissed off,” according to one person close to Mr. McCabe, and pressed him to explain why the FBI was still chasing a matter the department considered dormant.
- For Mr. McCabe’s defenders, the exchange showed how he was stuck between an FBI office eager to pour more resources into a case and Justice Department prosecutors who didn’t think much of the case, one person said.
- When agents questioned why they weren’t allowed to take more aggressive steps, they said they were told the order had come from the deputy director—Mr. McCabe.
- Some FBI agents were dissatisfied with that answer, and asked for permission to make a similar request to federal prosecutors in Manhattan, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. McCabe, these people said, told them no and added that they couldn’t “go prosecutor-shopping.”
This article triggered the investigation by the FBI's Inspection Division aka INSD, which then led to the 31 August 2017 investigation by the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General aka OIG. These are the critical facts/findings by the OIG:
- Prior to the 30 October 2016 Devlin Barrett article, the FBI had neither confirmed nor denied that there was an investigation of the Clinton Foundation.
- On 23 October 2016 the WSJ's Barrett reported that McCabe's wife had received $675,000 from Virginia Democrats linked to Clinton. This article sparked a public debate over whether McCabe should have any role whatsoever with investigations that touched on Hillary Clinton or the Clinton Foundation.
- 25 October 2016, McCabe learns that Barret (WSJ reporter) is working on a follow up to the 23 October piece. McCabe then authorized the Special Counsel (some say it was Lisa Page, not confirmed) and the Assistant Director of the Office of Public Affairs aka AD/OPA (Michael Kortan) to talk to Barrett.
- 27 October 2016, McCabe is excluded from a meeting/conference call regarding a search warrant for a set of Clinton-related emails.
- On the same day the Special Counsel and the AD/OPA met with Barrett who informed the two FBI officials that his sources claimed McCabe wanted to shut down the Clinton Foundation investigation for "improper reasons."
- On the same day the Special Counsel, after receiving guidance from McCabe, spoke with Barrett of the WSJ and informed him of McCabe's 12 August conversation with the DOJ Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, which was very acrimonious and left McCabe "pissed off."
- Barrett's article about the battle between the FBI and DOJ over the Clinton Foundation was published online on Sunday, 30 October 2016 at 3:34 pm.
- On the same day, shortly after the WSJ article hit the internet, McCabe made an angry call to the senior FBI Executives at the Washington and New York Field Divisions to voice his outrage at the leaks and ordered those Executives "to get their houses in order." McCabe did not disclose to either person that he had authorized the FBI Special Counsel to disclose that information.
- 31 October 2016, FBI Director Comey voiced his concerns about the leak to senior FBI staffers, which included McCabe.
- May 2017 FBI INSD (i.e., the Inspection Division) opens investigation into the 30 October 2016 leak.
- 9 May 2017 McCabe is interviewed under oath by INSD and shown the 30 October 2016 WSJ article and specifically directed to the report of the acrimonious exchange between McCabe and a senior DOJ official. McCabe said the report was accurate but that he had no idea where the leak about the 12 August 2016 phone call with the PADAG at Justice came from.
- Three days later (i.e., 12 May 2017), INSD emailed McCabe the draft Signed Sworn Statement for his review and signature. McCabe, according to the OIG report, did nothing with the statement until three months later (18 August 2017).
- Two months later, on 28 July 2017, the OIG interviewed McCabe under oath regarding "various FBI and Department actions in advance of the 2016 Election," and was asked specifically if the Special Counsel had been authorized to speak to the Wall Street Journal reporter who wrote the 30 October 2016 article. McCabe said, "Not that I'm aware of."
- Four days later, 1 August 2017, McCabe called the Assistant Inspector General and stated, "he may have authorized the Special Counsel to work with the AD/OPA and speak to Devlin Barrett."
- 7 August 2017, the Special Counsel was interviewed by INSD (the FBI) about the 30 October 2016 Barrett article. She admitted, under oath, that she gave the information to Barrett but was authorized to do so by Andy McCabe.
- Eleven days later (18 August 2017), INSD reinterviewed Andy McCabe about the 30 October 2016 article. McCabe admitted that his sworn testimony from May was wrong and conceded that he had authorized the disclosure.
- Andy McCabe was reinterviewed by the OIG on 29 November 2017 and admitted to the following:
- he authorized the leak to the WSJ for the 30 October article;
- he did not recall discussing the disclosure with Comey in advance;
- he told Comey after the 30 October article that he had authorized the leak;
- that other FBI executive managers knew he had authorized the leak
- claimed he had not purposefully made previous false statements to INSD and OIG investigators.
There is still a big case of he said/she said to come that will pit McCabe against Comey. McCabe, under oath, insists he told Comey, at least after the fact, and that Comey was okay with the leak. Comey is on the record, also under oath, saying that is not true. Someone is lying. It is an appalling situation to be in a position of having to choose between the former number two guy in the FBI and the former number one. They were supposed to be better than this.
Puts the whole case against Flynn in a new light. He has had his entire life ruined for saying something to the FBI that may not have been true, but was not a statement under oath. Most Americans understand double standards and cheaters. America's premiere law enforcement agency is now appearing to be worse than a crooked casino. Only house favorites win.