In a report released Friday by the Justice Department’s inspector general, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is faulted with a “lack of candor” in statements he made to then-Director James Comey and others.
As part of the misconduct investigation performed by Inspector General Michael Horowitz, the report supports the DoJ’s move last month to fire McCabe and reveals that he orchestrated a leak to the media designed to conceal a potential conflict of interest regarding his involvement in investigations into the Clinton Foundation.
“We concluded that McCabe’s decision to confirm the existence of the [Clinton Foundation] Investigation through an anonymously sourced quote, recounting the content of a phone call with a senior Department official in a manner designed to advance his personal interests at the expense of Department leadership, was clearly not within the public interest exception,” Horowitz wrote.
McCabe has argued that the charges are politically motivated, and his lawyer issued a statement contesting the results of the misconduct investigation, calling the charges “unprecedented, unseemly and cruel,” according to The Hill.
The charges of misconduct against McCabe stem from information he provided to the Wall Street Journal about political donations given to his wife, Jill McCabe’s Senate campaign from Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe.
The media leaks made by McCabe, says Horowitz’s report, were designed to combat accusations of bias over his ties to Clinton and it confirmed the existence of the Clinton investigation despite Comey’s decision not to make it public at that time.
Horowitz explains in the report that he isn’t convinced by McCabe’s justification for the leaks — McCabe explained that they were to prove the independence of the FBI in the face of pressure to end the Clinton investigation — and reveals that McCabe led Comey to believe that he didn’t authorize the media disclosures and didn’t know who did.
“We found it extremely unlikely, as McCabe now claims, that he not only told Comey about his decision to authorize the disclosure, but that Comey thought it was a ‘good’ idea for McCabe to have taken that action,” the report says.
Horowitz also found that McCabe gave inconsistent accounts during testimony before the inspector general’s investigators after finding out that they possessed information that would “enable the [Office of the Inspector General] to soon learn the truth.”
McCabe’s lawyer denied Horowitz’s findings, arguing that “at all times, [McCabe] told the truth to the best of his ability.”
President Donald Trump praised the report on Friday, seeing it as confirmation of his accusations of bias at the FBI.
DOJ just issued the McCabe report – which is a total disaster. He LIED! LIED! LIED! McCabe was totally controlled by Comey – McCabe is Comey!! No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018
McCabe was fired in March by Attorney General Jeff Sessions after he was found to have “lacked candor” in statements made to investigators. While the charges laid out in the misconduct report were already known, Horowitz confirms the DoJ’s decision and adds new details to the account.