On Friday, fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe took to the pages of the Washington Post to tell his woe-is-me story of Not in my worst nightmares did I dream my FBI career would end this way.
Lost in the soft coverage of McCabe is his admission in this piece that some of his statements to the IG “were not fully accurate.” He tries to justify it without providing any details, but the core charge against him, he admits, is true. https://t.co/uPbbGR6sTl
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) March 24, 2018
When all is said and done, this is McCabe’s defense:
I have been accused of “lack of candor.” That is not true. I did not knowingly mislead or lie to investigators. When asked about contacts with a reporter that were fully within my power to authorize as deputy director, and amid the chaos that surrounded me, I answered questions as completely and accurately as I could. And when I realized that some of my answers were not fully accurate or may have been misunderstood, I took the initiative to correct them. At worst, I was not clear in my responses, and because of what was going on around me may well have been confused and distracted — and for that I take full responsibility. But that is not a lack of candor. And under no circumstances could it ever serve as the basis for the very public and extended humiliation of my family and me that the administration, and the president personally, have engaged in over the past year.
In all fairness to McCabe, this is bullsh**. McCabe was, to all appearances, the central figure in decisions to exonerate Hillary Clinton as “too big to jail” and to flog the Fusion GPS product authored by Christopher Steele as a ruse to create a “counterintelligence” investigation of the Trump campaign. He was obviously a central figure in concocting an “investigation” (we are never told who authorized it) of Jeff Sessions in order to force Sessions’ recusal from supervising any independent counsel investigation or being involved in the selection of an independent counsel.
This is not Trump’s fault. McCabe was investigated by the Department of Justice IG (Obama appointee). The findings were reviewed by the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (head appointed by Mueller) and it was OPR that recommended termination. All Jeff Sessions did was rubber stamp the work of professional internal investigators. Trump did a little happy dance, but so did a lot of us.
As Jonathan Turley points out, his defense is particularly hollow since it is exactly the same defense used by Mike Flynn:
Two officials are accused of misleading statements in interviews. One is bled financially to the point that he must sell his house and then forced into a criminal plea. The other gets a delay in his pension. Both were very very busy people, but only one is looking at prison.
And that is because the FBI and Justice ultimately decided to protect one of their own in a way they’d never protect an outsider.