So Andrew McCabe has been out of the Hoover Building for less than 24-hours and he’s about to learn three valuable life lessons. One. As Harry Truman said, in Washington, if you want a friend get a dog. Two. The FBI leak machine is not terribly loyal. Three. Those reporters you thought were your buddies? Well, see Lesson Number One.
Via the Washington Post:
The Justice Department’s inspector general has been focused for months on why Andrew McCabe, as the No. 2 official at the FBI, appeared not to act for about three weeks on a request to examine a batch of Hillary Clinton-related emails found in the latter stages of the 2016 election campaign, according to people familiar with the matter.
The inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, has been asking witnesses why FBI leadership seemed unwilling to move forward on the examination of emails found on the laptop of former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) until late October — about three weeks after first being alerted to the issue, according to these people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter.
A key question of the internal investigation is whether McCabe or anyone else at the FBI wanted to avoid taking action on the laptop findings until after the Nov. 8 election, these people said. It is unclear whether the inspector general has reached any conclusions on that point.
A major line of inquiry for the inspector general has been trying to determine who at the FBI and the Justice Department knew about the Clinton emails on the Weiner laptop, and when they learned about them. McCabe is a central figure in those inquiries, these people said.
For the people who got sweaty thighs thinking about Trump being guilty of obstruction of justice because he fired Comey, this is what actual obstruction looks like. Here you had senior people in the FBI, like Andrew McCabe, like Mister Professor of Ethical Leadership Comey, actively blocking a criminal investigation. And they blocked it for personal gain, that is, to curry favor with what they thought would be the incoming administration. (You know, this whole pretending you’re Jack McCoy and dreaming up novel legal theories to just f*** with people who’ve pissed you off really is invigorating.)
The crux of the issue is really funny. By funny it actually explains a line that McCabe’s defenders have been using. This is the set up:
In late September 2016, FBI agents in New York were investigating Weiner for possible Internet crimes involving a teenage girl. In the course of that probe, they discovered that his laptop contained thousands of work emails belonging to Weiner’s then-wife, Huma Abedin. Abedin was a longtime aide to Clinton, and agents wanted to know whether the emails in question might shed new light on the Clinton investigation, which had been closed in July without any charges.
The New York FBI office alerted FBI headquarters to the new email issue within days — accounts differ as to when precisely, but McCabe was aware of the matter by late September or early October at the latest, according to the people familiar with the matter. The agents on the Weiner case wanted to talk to the Clinton email investigators and see whether the messages were potentially important. Some people familiar with the matter said officials at FBI headquarters asked the New York agents to analyze the emails’ metadata — the sender, recipient and times of the messages — to see whether they seemed relevant to the closed probe.
It appears the source for this likes Comey more than McCabe…or, because it is so favorable to Comey, the leaker might be Comey himself. Why do I say that? The source claims McCabe kept Comey in the dark about the existence of the investigation for three weeks. Imagine that, not telling your boss that the hands-down favorite to win the presidency was a potential subject in an FBI investigation.
Now the zinger:
But for a period of at least three weeks, according to people involved at the time, nothing much happened — a lag that has sparked the inspector general’s questions.
McCabe’s defenders in law enforcement say that there was nothing nefarious going on — officials were pursuing a careful process of determining whether the emails might be relevant, and that took time.
Other law enforcement officials, however, have said they are concerned that the issue seemed to die for a period of time at McCabe’s desk, without explanation.
On Oct. 24, 2016, the Wall Street Journal reported that McCabe’s wife had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from a close ally of Clinton, then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. The donations were for McCabe’s wife’s unsuccessful run as a Democrat for the Virginia state legislature.
Problem is that the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017
What is notable here is that the Washington Post runs this allegation at all. The Post has been the leader in pushing the story that because McCabe wasn’t involved in the email investigation of the alleged hack of the DNC that linking his actions to his wife’s political ambitions is off base. It seems now that whoever was pushing that line to the Post knew what was circling around McCabe.
Wait. Wait. There’s more.
At the same time, the FBI was facing a new set of questions, this time about McCabe’s role in a stalled probe into the Clinton Foundation. Some within the FBI felt McCabe had repeatedly moved to hamstring that probe and were suspicious of his motives for doing so, according to people familiar with the matter.
In October 2016, I posted about how it looked like someone was blocking the investigation of the Clinton Foundation.
I think the dam is about to break at the FBI. Comey was not a Bureau man. McCabe was a golden boy who was moved forward at stunning speed without, in the view of career agents, ever paying his dues in the trenches. I think we’re going to find that Comey was not as respected as he thought he was and those people McCabe stepped on in his meteoric rise haven’t forgotten.