‘I never, ever intentionally misled the FBI inspection division, the office of the inspector general, or any director of the FBI, ever…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) President Barack Obama’s national security advisers said that they will defend former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe if he is indicted for lying to the Justice Department’s inspector general about leaks to the media.
Comey was also investigated by the inspector general, who recently acknowledged that he had referred the disgraced agency head to the Attorney General’s Office for prosecution earlier this year.
It is unclear whether Comey’s offer to testify against his ex-deputy was intended to be part of a negotiation for leniency.
At least four bureaucrats from the Obama administration said they will testify in McCabe’s favor, including Mary McCord, David Cohen, Lisa Monaco and Denis McDonough:
- McCord was the acting head of the DOJ’s National Security Division. She supervised the Russia probe, a failed attempt to find links between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and the Russian government.
- David Cohen was the deputy director at the Central Intelligence Agency from 2015 to 2017.
- Monaco was a homeland security adviser during the Obama administration.
- McDonough was Obama’s chief of staff.
The witnesses said they would provide “character evidence” as well as facts about law enforcement and national security investigations that they worked on with McCabe.
The Justice Department’s inspector general investigation found that McCabe displayed a “lack of candor” regarding questions about leaks to the media.
McCabe said he did not intentionally misinform the Justice Department during the investigation.
He said he “never, ever intentionally misled the FBI inspection division, the office of the inspector general, or any director of the FBI, ever.”
Nonetheless, federal prosecutors have recommended that the Justice Department move forward with the indictment against McCabe.
McCabe’s lawyers wrote an 11-page report titled, “Reasons Not To Prosecute Andrew McCabe,” in an effort to convince the Justice Department not to follow the prosecutors’ advice.
Justice Department officials denied the request.
McCabe said the alleged false statements that he made to the Justice Department’s inspector general were misunderstandings, NPR reported. He said the Justice Department will not pursue criminal charges unless Trump interferes with the investigation.
While the leaking was what ultimately led Trump last year to fire McCabe—who had served as acting director after Comey’s 2017 dismissal—several other ethical issues arose from the inspector general’s investigation of corruption in the FBI during the Obama era.
McCabe was rebuked by the IG for a potential conflict of interest arising from the fact that his wife, Jill, accepted nearly half a million dollars in political contributions from then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to fund her run for the state Senate.
McAuliffe, a Democrat, had previously served as a Clinton surrogate, campaign fundraiser, head of the Clinton’s so-called charity foundation and a business partner of Hillary Clinton’s brother.
McCabe, at the time, was overseeing the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s breach of security for sending classified State Department emails to a private email server. He only recused himself in the case shortly before the November 2016 election.
He also directly oversaw the FBI’s probe into Trump’s alleged Russia ties, including direct meetings with Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department deputy assistant whose wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS as an analyst.
The Ohrs used their connection to convey the Steele Dossier—a series of opposition research memoranda commissioned by the Clinton campaign full of salacious, anti-Trump innuendo, penned by a British spy whom the FBI had fired for leaking—into the hands of McCabe via a thumb drive.
The FBI then submitted warrants to the secretive FISA court using the unverified information as justification to spy on Trump campaign officials.
An ongoing investigation into the DOJ conspiracy is being led by special prosecutor John Durham, who has worked closely with the Inspector General’s Office.
Liberty Headlines’ Ben Sellers contributed to this report.