Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe responded angrily to the finding of the Inspector General report and notably attacked the recollection of former FBI Director James Comey as a witness. As I discussed in an earlier column, McCabe raised over a half million dollars on GoFundMe before the release of the report showing that he repeatedly made false statements to investigators as well as Comey. The report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz, appointed by President Barack Obama is blistering and says that McCabe intentionally lied to protect his image and record. McCabe lashed out at the career officials behind the report and said Comey’s countervailing memory should not be given much credence.
Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the danger of President Donald Trump firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Reports still indicate that Trump is pushing to fire Rosenstein — a move that would seriously undermine both his political and legal position.
Here is the column:
Yesterday, it was disclosed that Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman recused himself in the probe of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen before the raids on his home, office, and hotel. The recusal raises obvious concerns and a range of theories. Given the overarching public interest in this investigation, Berman should disclose the general basis for the recusal.
President Donald Trump renewed his public discussion over firing Robert Mueller after the search of his lawyer’s office, a move that would be the single most destructive act since . . . well . . . Trump fired James Comey. It would not only not stop the investigation but it would expand calls for impeachment. The statement clearly thrilled many of his critics who relished the idea of the largest unforced error in history since New York Giants center fielder Fred Snodgrass blew Game 8 of the 1912 World Series with the Boston Red Sox. Of course, dropping that ball cost New York the World Series. This could cost Trump his presidency. I have a column out this morning in the Hill on this issue.
Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the curious timing of a legal defense fund for Andrew McCabe — started and closed before the release of a report on his conduct. With the sentencing of the first Mueller defendant, Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan, there are obvious questions of why people like Flynn and van der Zwaan should face prison for single false statements while McCabe is accused of lying four times, including twice under oath. Mueller’s office insisted that anyone who lies to investigators deserves to be sentenced and punished, but that standard appears to change be somewhat fluid when a former high-ranking FBI official is implicated. Nevertheless, I can certainly understand McCabe’s interest in a legal defense fund given the ongoing IG investigation and addition of a prosecutor to the team. However, the money was raised before donors could know the full account of the allegations against McCabe. Moreover, McCabe can use this money for any legal needs as he enters private life.
Here is the column:
Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe penned an op-ed for The Washington Post to contest the allegation of his “lack of candor” with federal investigators. I have been writing (here and here and here) on the contrast between the treatment of McCabe and former national security adviser Michael Flynn. McCabe has been erroneously portrayed as “losing his pension” but has not been charged. Flynn was charged and accepted a plea deal under 18 U.S.C. 1001 for making a false statement to investigators. Now McCabe is raising virtually the same defense that did not work for Flynn: that there was a lot going on and he was “confused and distracted.”
While various networks have advanced narratives of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe being fired as part of a Trump bloodlust, FBI Director Christopher Wray weighed in this week to say that he acted without any political influence. Wray, who has been widely credited as being completely independent and apolitical, supported the view that McCabe was fired for true cause. Wray pushed McCabe out after reportedly reading the conclusions of the Inspector General’s report.