This is great news for a Monday.
The New York Times reports that the Department of Justice is in the last stages of making a decision on whether to indict Andrew McCabe.
Federal prosecutors in Washington appear to be in the final stages of deciding whether to indict Andrew G. McCabe, the former deputy F.B.I. director and a frequent target of President Trump, on charges of lying to federal agents, according to interviews with people familiar with recent developments in the investigation.
In two meetings last week, Mr. McCabe’s lawyers met with the deputy attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen, who is expected to be involved in the decision about whether to prosecute, and for more than an hour with the United States attorney for the District of Columbia, Jessie K. Liu, according to a person familiar with the meetings. The person would not detail the discussions, but defense lawyers typically meet with top law enforcement officials to try to persuade them not to indict their client if they failed to get line prosecutors to drop the case.
If the Times is close to accurate on this, the line prosecutors and the US Attorney’s office have already decided to indict but Justice is taking an interest.
The Times tries to make this a closer call than it probably is.
When initially questioned by F.B.I. agents in May 2017 about the disclosure to the reporter, Mr. McCabe said he had not approved it and did not know who did. Other evidence contradicted his assertion. Then in late July, two investigators with the inspector general’s office interviewed Mr. McCabe about the disclosure to the newspaper. They determined he had not been truthful, saying he had essentially made the same false denial as he did previously in May, “except this time the false denial was made in an audio-recorded interview.”
Ms. Page told the grand jury that Mr. McCabe had no motive to lie to because he was authorized as the deputy F.B.I. director to share the information with the newspaper. Her assertion could be damaging for prosecutors, who would have to prove that Mr. McCabe knowingly and intentionally lied to investigators. A lawyer for Ms. Page declined to comment.
McCabe in not being indicted for an unauthorized leak, he’s being indicted for lying about authorizing and he had an immense motive, given the nature of the leak, to lie about his role. Plus, I’m sure that the discussion of his motive has been covered in prosecutorial memoranda on the case and it is damned unlikely the IG’s office would have referred this case for prosecution or that the USA would have proceeded to this stage unless there was a provable case.
What is at stake here is not small, it is really little short of the Department of Justice making a decision on whether the United States has a two-tiered system of justice where FBI officials can casually and callously lie to federal investigators and avoid any downside while a guy like George Papadopoulos gets sent to jail for a transposing the dates of his appointment to the Trump campaign with the date on which the campaign officially announced his position, or worse, be a Michael Flynn an have this particular lying sack of ordure decide that you lied to investigators when investigators had decided just the opposite. It would be hard to imagine that Barr and Rosen don’t know this, plus, I can’t imagine Rosen being all that keen on making a no-prosecution decision knowing what his Twitter timeline would look like the next morning after Trump’s first tweet.
Nothing would make me happier than if the FBI went full “Law and Order” on McCabe and waited until he was on the air in the CNN studio and barged in an handcuffed him on camera.
There is also this nugget which is where Peter Strzok enters the picture:
Additionally, Washington juries are typically liberal, and prosecutors could end up with jurors sympathetic to Mr. McCabe who believe that he, not the president, is the victim of a political witch hunt. Mr. McCabe’s lawyers would probably emphasize his long history at the F.B.I. and his role protecting the country.
I think this is correct and that McCabe’s legal team knows his crap is really weak because just a couple of weeks ago they filed a lawsuit demanding that McCabe be reinstated by the FBI and claiming that his prosecution was in retaliation for
his frenzied persecution of Trump associates being a bold truth-teller. I think they overestimate the sympathy any jury is going to have for a dirty cop, but I speculated at the time that this was aimed at suborning the jury pool and sometimes hope is the only strategy that you have.
And do you know who else has sued for reinstatement? Peter Strzok.