Skip to content

Get Judicial Watch Updates!

DONATE

Judicial Watch • IG report on McCabe 031418

IG report on McCabe 031418

IG report on McCabe 031418

Page 1: IG report on McCabe 031418

Category:

Number of Pages:39

Date Created:April 13, 2018

Date Uploaded to the Library:April 13, 2018

Tags:PADAG, 031418, barrett, interview, McCabe, chief, Comey, Special, deputy, investigation, Counsel, Hillary Clinton, clinton, FBI, DOJ, department


File Scanned for Malware

Donate now to keep these documents public!


See Generated Text   ∨

Autogenerated text from PDF

Table Contents
Introduction and Summary Findings....................................................
II.
Relevant Statutes, Policies, and Practices ................................................
III.
Lack Candor ...........................................................................
FBI Policies and Practices Regarding Media Contacts and Leaks .........
Factual Findings ..................................................................................
Background Facts .......................................................................
Andrew McCabe .................................................................
The Clinton E-mail Investigation ..........................................
The Clinton Foundation Investigation ....................................
Events Leading the October Article and its Aftermath ...............
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
Comey Refuses Confirm the Existence the Investigation (July Other Investigations
(September 28) .................................................................
McCabe PADAG Call the Investigation (August 12) ........
The October WSJ Article and Aftermath ............................
The Attorney General Expresses Strong Concerns McCabe
and other FBI Officials about Leaks, and McCabe Discusses
Recusing Himself from Investigation (October 26) ..............
McCabe Excluded from Meeting Regarding Clinton E-mails
Found the Weiner Laptop (October 27) .............................
McCabe Authorizes Special Counsel and AD/OPA Talk
Barrett Regarding Investigation and Disclose August
McCabe-PADAG Call ...........................................................
The October WSJ Article .................................................
McCabe Admonishes Two FBI Executives for Leaks the
October WSJ Article Regarding the Investigation .........
Comey Expresses Concern About Leaks his Staff Meeting
and Discusses the October WSJ Article with McCabe
(October 31) ...................................................................
Knowledge Other FBI Executives ....................................
McCabe Admonishes NY-ADIC for Investigation Leaks
Following November WSJ Article (November .................
INSD Opens Investigation the WSJ Leak (May 2017) .....
INSD Interviews McCabe under Oath May 9.....................
McCabe Initial Account under Oath the OIG
July 28, 2017 ..................................................................
McCabe Calls the OIG August Correct his Testimony
INSD and the OIG Interview Special Counsel under Oath
Regarding the October Article (August September
October 26) ....................................................................
17.
18.
19.
IV.
INSD Interviews McCabe Again (August 18).........................
The OIG Assumes Responsibility for the Investigation
(August 31) ....................................................................
The OIG Interviews McCabe under Oath November ......
OIG Analysis .....................................................................................
Lack Candor .........................................................................
Lack Candor with Then-Director Comey around
October 31, 2016.............................................................
Lack Candor Interview under Oath with INSD Agents May 2017 ...............................................................
Lack Candor Interview under Oath with
OIG Investigators July 28, 2017 ....................................
Lack Candor Interview under Oath with
OIG Investigators November 29, 2017 ...........................
Media Policies ...........................................................................
Conclusion ...............................................................................
Introduction and Summary Findings
This misconduct report addresses the accuracy statements made thenFederal Bureau Investigation (FBI) Deputy Director Andrew McCabe the FBI
Inspection Division (INSD) and the Department Justice (Department DOJ)
Office the Inspector General (OIG) concerning the disclosure certain law
enforcement sensitive information reporter Devlin Barrett that was published
online the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) October 30, 2016, article entitled
FBI Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe. print version the article was
published the WSJ Monday, October 31, 2016, article entitled FBI,
Justice Feud Clinton Probe.
This investigation was initially opened INSD determine whether the
information published the WSJ the October article was unauthorized
leak and, so, who was the source the leak. August 31, 2017, the OIG
opened investigation McCabe following INSD referral its matter the OIG
after INSD became concerned that McCabe may have lacked candor when
questioned INSD agents about his role the disclosure the WSJ. Shortly
before that INSD referral, part its ongoing Review Allegations Regarding
Various Actions the Department and the FBI Advance the 2016 Election, the
OIG identified FBI text messages McCabe then-Special Counsel Special
Counsel that reflected that she and the then-Assistant Director for Public Affairs AD/OPA had been contact with Barrett October and 28, 2016, and the
OIG began review the involvement McCabe, Special Counsel, and AD/OPA
the disclosure information the WSJ connection with the October article. addition addressing whether McCabe lacked candor, the OIG
misconduct investigation addressed whether any FBI Department Justice
policies were violated disclosing non-public FBI information the WSJ.
The OIG misconduct investigation included reviewing all the INSD
investigative materials well numerous additional documents, e-mails, text
messages, and OIG interview transcripts. The OIG interviewed numerous
witnesses, including McCabe, Special Counsel, former FBI Director James Comey,
and others. detailed below, found that late October 2016, McCabe authorized
Special Counsel and AD/OPA discuss with Barrett issues related the FBI
Clinton Foundation investigation (CF Investigation). particular, McCabe
authorized Special Counsel and AD/OPA disclose Barrett the contents
telephone call that had occurred August 12, 2016, between McCabe and the
then-Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General PADAG Among the purposes the disclosure was rebut narrative that had been developing following
story the WSJ October 23, 2016, that questioned McCabe impartiality
overseeing FBI investigations involving former Secretary State Hillary Clinton,
and claimed that McCabe had ordered the termination the Investigation due Department Justice pressure. The disclosure the WSJ effectively confirmed
the existence the Investigation, which then-FBI Director Comey had
previously refused do. The account the August McCabe-PADAG call, and
other information regarding the handling the Investigation, was included
the October WSJ article. found that, conversation with then-Director Comey shortly after the
WSJ article was published, McCabe lacked candor when told Comey, made
statements that led Comey believe, that McCabe had not authorized the
disclosure and did not know who did. This conduct violated FBI Offense Code 2.5
(Lack Candor Oath). also found that May 2017, when questioned under oath FBI
agents from INSD, McCabe lacked candor when told the agents that had not
authorized the disclosure the WSJ and did not know who did. This conduct
violated FBI Offense Code 2.6 (Lack Candor Under Oath). further found that July 28, 2017, when questioned under oath the
OIG recorded interview, McCabe lacked candor when stated: (a) that
was not aware Special Counsel having been authorized speak reporters
around October and (b) that, because was not Washington, D.C.,
October and 28, 2016, was unable say where Special Counsel was what
she was doing that time. This conduct violated FBI Offense Code 2.6 (Lack
Candor Under Oath). additionally found that November 29, 2017, when questioned under
oath the OIG recorded interview during which contradicted his prior
statements acknowledging that had authorized the disclosure the WSJ,
McCabe lacked candor when he: (a) stated that told Comey October 31,
2016, that had authorized the disclosure the WSJ; (b) denied telling INSD
agents May that had not authorized the disclosure the WSJ about the
PADAG call; and (c) asserted that INSD questioning him May about the
October WSJ article occurred the end unrelated meeting when one
the INSD agents pulled him aside and asked him one two questions about the
article. This conduct violated FBI Offense Code 2.6 (Lack Candor Under Oath).
Lastly, determined that Deputy Director, McCabe was authorized
disclose the existence the Investigation publicly such disclosure fell within
the public interest exception applicable FBI and DOJ policies generally
prohibiting such disclosure ongoing investigation. However, concluded
that McCabe decision confirm the existence the Investigation through
anonymously sourced quote, recounting the content phone call with senior
Department official manner designed advance his personal interests the
expense Department leadership, was clearly not within the public interest
exception. therefore concluded that McCabe disclosure the existence
ongoing investigation this manner violated the FBI and the Department media
policy and constituted misconduct.
The OIG issuing this report the FBI for such action deems
appropriate.
II.
Relevant Statutes, Policies, and Practices
Lack Candor
The Offense Codes Applicable the FBI Internal Disciplinary Process
punish FBI employees for lack candor. Offense Code 2.5 (Lack Candor
Oath) prohibits [k]nowingly providing false information when making verbal
written statement, not under oath, supervisor, another Bureau employee
authoritative position, another governmental agency, when the employee
questioned about his conduct the conduct another person. Offense Code 2.6
(Lack Candor Under Oath) prohibits [k]nowingly providing false information verbal written statement made under oath. Under both offense codes, lack
candor defined include false statements, misrepresentations, the failure
fully forthright, the concealment omission material fact/information.
FBI Policies and Practices Regarding Media Contacts and Leaks
The then-existing FBI Policy Media Relations, Section 3.1, authorized the
FBI Director, the FBI Deputy Director, the Associate Deputy Director, and the
Assistant Director for the Office Public Affairs (OPA) speak with the media
behalf the FBI. Other FBI executives could only speak with the media OPA
request following coordination with, and approval by, OPA FBIHQ. Section
3.4 this policy provided, relevant part, that disclosures the media must not
address ongoing investigation except indicated that section. The section
provides two examples when may permissible selectively release [nonclassified] information assure the public that investigation progress with
prior approval specific components FBI headquarters:
(1) protect the public interest, welfare safety
(2) solicit information from the public that might relevant
investigation.
Section 3.3 the policy also provides that all releases must consistent
with all applicable laws and regulations and policy itemized Section which
includes the United States Attorneys Manual (USAM), Title 1-7.000, Media
Relations. Title 1-7.000 the USAM establishes specific guidelines for the release information relating criminal and civil cases the FBI and other DOJ
components. The USAM guidelines expressly state that they are consistent with
C.F.R. 50.2, which provides that where background information information
relating the circumstances arrest investigation would highly
prejudicial where the release thereof would serve law enforcement function,
such information should not made public. C.F.R. 50.2(a)(3)(iv).
Among other things, Section 1-7.530 the USAM provides that: Except provided subparagraph B., this section, components and
personnel the Department Justice shall not respond questions
about the existence ongoing investigation comment its nature progress, including such things the issuance serving
subpoena, prior the public filing the document. matters that have already received substantial publicity,
about which the community needs reassured that the
appropriate law enforcement agency investigating the incident, where the release information necessary protect the
public interest, safety welfare, comments about confirmation ongoing investigation may need made. these
unusual circumstances, the involved investigative agency will
consult and obtain approval from the United States Attorney
Department Division handling the matter prior disseminating any
information the media.
James Comey, who was the FBI Director the time the WSJ article was
published, told the OIG that the authority disclose the existence pending
investigation confined the Director and the Deputy Director and that
making such decisions the default don talk about pending investigations. also told the OIG that significant disclosures about investigations always
through and that could not remember any disclosure any the three
Deputy Directors that served under him during his tenure that did not involve close
coordination with him. Comey also told the OIG that the FBI does not disclose
criminal investigation anonymously sourced newspaper.
III.
Factual Findings
Background Facts
Andrew McCabe
McCabe began his career with the FBI 1996 Special Agent the New
York Field Office. McCabe has served variety leadership positions the FBI
during his career, including the Assistant Director the Counterterrorism
Division, the Executive Assistant Director the National Security Branch, and the
Assistant Director Charge the FBI Washington Field Office. February
2016, McCabe was appointed Deputy Director the FBI, overseeing all FBI
domestic and international investigative and intelligence activities. McCabe became
Acting Director the FBI May 2017, when FBI Director James Comey was
fired. McCabe served Acting Director until August 2017, when Christopher
Wray was confirmed the Senate the new FBI Director. that time, McCabe
resumed his duties Deputy Director, position held until January 29, 2018.
The Clinton E-mail Investigation
The Clinton E-mail Investigation began referral from the Inspector
General the Intelligence Community concerning Clinton use personal e-mail
server during her time Secretary State. July 2016, Comey publicly
announced the FBI recommendation the Department that charges are
appropriate this case. July 2016, Attorney General Loretta Lynch
announced that charges would brought related the investigation.
October 28, 2016, two days before the online publication the WSJ article issue this report, Comey informed Congress that the FBI had discovered additional
Clinton-related e-mails unrelated investigation. November 2016,
Comey announced that the FBI had completed its review the additional e-mails
and that have not changed our conclusions that expressed July with
respect Secretary Clinton.
The Clinton Foundation Investigation detailed below, the disclosures Special Counsel the WSJ October and included statements effectively confirming the existence the
Investigation. Prior October and 28, the FBI had not publicly confirmed the
existence the Investigation, issued any statements the media discussing
the details that investigation.
Events Leading the October Article and its Aftermath
Comey Refuses Confirm the Existence the
Investigation (July Other Investigations
(September 28) testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee July 2016, FBI Director Comey refused answer questions about whether
the FBI was investigating the Clinton Foundation. Comey stated that was not
going comment the existence nonexistence the Investigation.
Similarly, testimony before the House Judiciary Committee September 28,
2016, Comey refused confirm deny two different investigations during FBI
oversight hearing. stated: our standard not confirm deny the
existence investigations.
McCabe PADAG Call the Investigation (August 12)
McCabe told the OIG that August 12, 2016, received telephone call
from PADAG regarding the FBI handling the Investigation (the PADAG
call McCabe said that PADAG expressed concerns about FBI agents taking overt
steps the Investigation during the presidential campaign. According
McCabe, pushed back, asking are you telling that need shut down
validly predicated investigation? McCabe told that the conversation was very
dramatic and never had similar confrontation like the PADAG call with highlevel Department official his entire FBI career.
The October WSJ Article and Aftermath October 23, 2016, the WSJ published online article reporter Devlin
Barrett stating that political-action committee (PAC) run Virginia Governor
Terry McAuliffe and the Virginia Democratic Party (over which the article reported
McAuliffe exerts considerable control collectively donated nearly $675,000 the
2015 unsuccessful state senate campaign the wife Andrew McCabe. The
article described McAuliffe influential Democrat with long-standing ties Bill
and Hillary Clinton and noted that McCabe was FBI official who later helped
oversee the investigation into Mrs. Clinton email use. The article contained
official FBI statement that McCabe played role his wife 2015 state senate
campaign and was promoted FBI Deputy Director months after his wife defeat
where, assumed for the first time, oversight role the investigation into
Secretary Clinton emails. According the article, FBI officials stated that
McCabe supervision the Clinton E-mail case 2016 did not present conflict
ethics issues because his wife campaign was over then. The article went
note that when the Clinton E-mail Investigation was launched July 2015, Mr.
McCabe was running the FBI Washington, D.C., field office, which provided
personnel and resources the Clinton email probe.
Immediately following online publication the article, there was substantial
public discussion whether McCabe oversight the Clinton E-mail
Investigation had been appropriate light the information the article.
Additionally, October 24, 2016, Barrett e-mailed the AD/OPA about follow-on
story that was working on. that e-mail, Barrett asked AD/OPA number
questions about McCabe involvement certain matters, including the
Investigation. particular, Barrett e-mail said that was told that: the summer, McCabe himself gave some instruction how
proceed with the Clinton Foundation probe, given that was the
height election season and the FBI did not want make lot
overt moves that could seen going after [Clinton] drawing
attention the probe.
Barrett e-mail asked AD/OPA [h]ow accurate are those descriptions? Anything
else should know? detailed Section below, McCabe subsequently
instructed Special Counsel provide information Barrett for the follow-on story.
The Attorney General Expresses Strong Concerns
McCabe and other FBI Officials about Leaks, and McCabe
Discusses Recusing Himself from Investigation
(October 26)
McCabe told the OIG that during the October 2016 time frame, was his
perception that there was lot information coming out likely the [FBI New
York Field Office that was ending the news. McCabe told the OIG that
had some heated back-and-forths with the New York Assistant Director Charge NY-ADIC over the issue media leaks. print version the article was published the WSJ Monday, October 24, 2016. January 2017, the OIG announced would conduct review allegations regarding
various actions the Department and the FBI advance the 2016 election, including allegations
that McCabe should have been recused from participating certain investigative matters. October 26, 2016, McCabe and NY-ADIC participated what McCabe
described hastily convened conference call with the Attorney General who
delivered the same message about leaks, with specific focus being leaks
regarding the high-profile investigation FBI New York Field Office into the death Eric Garner. McCabe told that never heard her use more forceful
language. NY-ADIC confirmed that the participants got ripped the
leaks.
According NY-ADIC testimony and e-mail sent himself
October 31, McCabe indicated NY-ADIC and then-FBI Executive Assistant
Director EAD conversation after Attorney General Lynch disconnected from
the call that McCabe was recusing himself from the Investigation. According
NY-ADIC e-mail, McCabe told them may make more formal decision
later time. NY-ADIC stated during his OIG interview: think [McCabe] couched like, hey, this not final don know, think says still has talk
about it. NY-ADIC stated that clarified with McCabe that unless McCabe told
him otherwise, NY-ADIC would begin reporting EAD the Investigation.
McCabe, however, told the OIG that did not recall such conversation. said, suppose its possible that may have referred the concept that was
being discussed generally the time. But would not have said [NY-ADIC],
like, thinking about recusing.
McCabe Excluded from Meeting Regarding Clinton Emails Found the Weiner Laptop (October 27) October 27, 2016 10:00 a.m., Comey held meeting with the Clinton
E-mail Investigation team discuss obtaining search warrant for set Clintonrelated e-mails the FBI had discovered laptop belonging Anthony Weiner,
and taking additional steps the Clinton E-mail Investigation. Special Counsel
attended the meeting. McCabe was out town, but joined the meeting via
conference call. Shortly after the meeting began, the then-FBI General Counsel FBI-GC suggested, and Comey agreed, that McCabe should leave the call.
Comey told that asked McCabe drop off the call, and McCabe was very
unhappy about it. Special Counsel also left the meeting. After discussions
between FBI and Department leadership, October 28, 2016, Comey sent letter,
over Department objections, informing Congress that the FBI was taking additional
steps the Clinton E-mail Investigation.
Accounts differ about the reason for excluding McCabe from the October
call. McCabe told the OIG that the reason stated the call for dropping him
related the potential for discussion about classified information. However,
Comey, and and Special Counsel all told that Comey asked McCabe
leave the call out abundance caution because appearance issues
following revelations the WSJ October article about the campaign donations
from McAuliffe-associated PACs McCabe wife. McCabe discussed the issue
his participation the Clinton e-mail matter further with Comey and FBI-GC
telephone later that day. After these conversations, McCabe sent text message
Special Counsel stating: spoke both. Both understand that decision
recusal will made until return and weigh in. November 2016, McCabe sent e-mails FBI executives and officials
overseeing the Investigation and the Clinton E-mail Investigation informing
them that was recusing himself from those investigations.
McCabe Authorizes Special Counsel and AD/OPA Talk Barrett Regarding Investigation and Disclose
August McCabe-PADAG Call
McCabe Authorization October 25, 2016, McCabe had been notified that Barrett was working follow-up story the October article that would cover McCabe oversight
the Investigation and potential connections with McAuliffe campaign
contributions McCabe wife. McCabe thereafter authorized Special Counsel and
AD/OPA talk Barrett about this follow-up story. Special Counsel told that
the authorization from McCabe was done orally and was pretty general. Special
Counsel further stated that she understood from AD/OPA that the first call with
Barrett would receive mode understand what Barrett story would cover
and then they would develop response.
Calls with Barrett and Special Counsel
Communications with McCabe (October and 28) approximately 12:06 p.m. October 27, 2016, shortly before Special
Counsel was speak with Barrett for the first time, McCabe texted Special Counsel
asking Are you with wsj now About minutes later, 12:19 p.m., Special
Counsel texted McCabe back stating that she was going there now and would call
him immediately after call with devlin. Special Counsel told the OIG that she
and AD/OPA then had their first call with Barrett receive mode regarding his
follow-up story. According Special Counsel contemporaneous notes the call
and testimony the OIG, she and AD/OPA learned during the first call that Barrett
had sources who were adamant that McCabe gave purported order stand
down the Investigation before the 2016 presidential election, implying that
McCabe wanted shut down the investigation for improper reasons.
Special Counsel texted McCabe 1:25 p.m. and stated Can you talk now?
After some additional texts between them arrange the call, telephone records
reflect that McCabe and Special Counsel spoke telephone 2:54 p.m. for
minutes. According Special Counsel, she briefed McCabe the conversation
with Barrett and the purported stand down order. Special Counsel told the OIG
that McCabe responded reminding her that the August PADAG call was
completely inconsistent with that allegation. Special Counsel told that she
understood McCabe wanted her provide the account this August call this time, McCabe had already left for
October through 30, 2016.
and remained out town from
rebuttal that stand down allegation and made large notation Fri. Aug.
with [PADAG] the top her notes remind herself discuss the next call
with Barrett.
When interviewed the OIG November 29, 2017, McCabe recollection his call with Special Counsel was consistent with hers. Specifically, McCabe
stated that authorized Special Counsel and AD/OPA provide Barrett the
account his August call with PADAG because McCabe thought was the best
example counter the incredibly damaging narrative Barrett intended story.
McCabe said that did not view the disclosure the WSJ about the August
PADAG call disclosing the existence the Investigation because the purpose
was demonstrate the FBI independence, and there really wasn any discussion the case, the merits the case, the targets and subjects the case.
McCabe stated that this was the only time his career where had
authorized the disclosure the media one-on-one discussion that had with member the Department leadership.
FBI text message and phone records show that, immediately before Special
Counsel and AD/OPA spoke for the second time with Barrett, McCabe called Special
Counsel 4:38 p.m. and the two spoke for minutes. E-mail and text message
records show that, approximately minute after the call between McCabe and
Special Counsel ended, Special Counsel and AD/OPA began their second call with
Barrett, which lasted from approximately 4:45 p.m. 5:21 p.m. According
Special Counsel contemporaneous notes and testimony the OIG, this followup call with Barrett she responded the claims regarding FBI leadership handling the Investigation and provided the account the August McCabe-PADAG
call the best evidence counter Barrett narrative.
Two minutes after the call ended, Special Counsel texted McCabe 5:23
p.m. stating: done. going look his story again and will circle back
with him the morning. According telephone records, McCabe thereafter called
Special Counsel twice, once 6:47 p.m., when they spoke for about minutes,
and again 7:06 p.m., when they spoke for about minutes.
During the early afternoon October 28, 2016, Special Counsel and AD/OPA
had additional call with Barrett that lasted least minutes. According
Special Counsel contemporaneous notes and testimony the OIG, Barrett
provided them preview the revised story, which now incorporated aspects
the McCabe-PADAG call August rebut the stand-down allegation.
After this call ended, Special Counsel texted McCabe 1:33 p.m. stating:
Just got off with barrett. Give call here. According telephone records,
1:38 p.m., McCabe and Special Counsel spoke for minutes.
The October WSJ Article October 30, 2016, prior the article online publication, Special Counsel
exchanged text messages with then-FBI Deputy Assistant Director DAD
regarding the forthcoming article. DAD forwarded Special Counsel Washington
Post article from the day before (October 29), entitled Justice Officials Warned FBI
that Comey Decision Update Congress Was Not Consistent With Department
Policy. The article stated that Department officials told Comey that his decision
update Congress about the discovery additional Clinton e-mails prior the
election was inconsistent with Department policy, and DAD observed his text
message that This all [PADAG]. Special Counsel responded Yeah. saw it.
Makes feel WAY less bad about throwing him under the bus the forthcoming article. Special Counsel told that she was referring this text her
disclosure Barrett about the August conversation between McCabe and
PADAG, and what she meant throwing [PADAG] under the bus was that was unfortunate sort fact consequence but was necessary rebut the
notion that [Andy] was trying kill the Clinton Foundation case for inappropriate improper reasons.
Barrett follow-up article was published online Sunday, October 30, 2016, about 3:34 p.m., and appeared the WSJ print edition the next day under the
title FBI, Justice Feud Clinton Probe. The article described how Comey
disclosure that FBI agents were taking another look the Clinton e-mails lays
bare, just days before the election, tensions inside the bureau and the Justice
Department over how investigate the Democratic presidential nominee. The
article discussed not only the FBI handling the Clinton E-mail Investigation, but
internal disagreements within the bureau and the Justice Department surrounding
the Clintons family philanthropy. stated that McCabe particular was caught [in] increasingly acrimonious fight for control between the Justice Department
and FBI agents pursuing the Clinton Foundation case. Thereafter, the article
highlighted the campaign donations McCabe wife PACs associated with
McAuliffe, who was described longtime ally the Clintons and Clinton
Foundation Board member. The article identified McCabe the FBI official who
sought refocus the Clinton Foundation probe, and reported that agents further
down the FBI chain command had been told [s]tand down the Clinton
Foundation investigation with the understanding that the order had come from the
deputy director Mr. McCabe. The article stated that [o]thers familiar with the
matter deny Mr. McCabe any other senior FBI official gave such stand-down
instruction. The article recounted the August conversation between McCabe
and PADAG (identified unnamed senior Justice Department Official
stated:
According person familiar with the probes, Aug. 12,
senior Justice Department official called Mr. McCabe voice his
displeasure finding that New York FBI agents were still openly
pursuing the Clinton Foundation probe during the election season. Mr.
McCabe said agents still had the authority pursue the issue long they didn use overt methods requiring Justice Department
approvals.
The Justice Department official was very pissed off, according one person close McCabe, and pressed him explain why the
FBI was still chasing matter the department considered dormant.
Are you telling that need shut down validly predicated
investigation? Mr. McCabe asked, according people familiar with
the conversation. After pause, the official replied course not,
these people said.
McCabe Admonishes Two FBI Executives for Leaks the
October WSJ Article Regarding the Investigation
Two FBI Executives, NY-ADIC and the then-Assistant Director Charge
the Washington Field Division W-ADIC told that they each received calls
from McCabe admonishing them for leaks contained the October WSJ article
about the Investigation. time did McCabe disclose either them that
McCabe had authorized Special Counsel disclose information about the
Investigation the WSJ reporter.
According NY-ADIC contemporaneous October calendar notes and
testimony the OIG, McCabe called NY-ADIC Sunday, October 30, 5:11
p.m., express concerns over leaks from the FBI New York Field Office the
October WSJ article. NY-ADIC told the OIG that McCabe was ticked about
leaks the article the Investigation, but NY-ADIC pushed back little
note that New York agents were not privy some the information the article.
Also according NY-ADIC calendar notes, well his testimony the OIG,
NY-ADIC spoke EAD and other FBI managers after his call with McCabe voice
concerns about getting yelled about this stuff when was supposed
dealing with EAD Clinton Foundation issues because his understanding that
McCabe had recused himself from the matter.
W-ADIC told the OIG that received call from McCabe regarding the
October WSJ article and that McCabe admonished him regarding leaks the
article. According W-ADIC, McCabe told him get his house order.
McCabe told that did not recall calling either NY-ADIC W-ADIC
reprimand them for leaks the October WSJ article.
Comey Expresses Concern About Leaks his Staff
Meeting and Discusses the October WSJ Article with
McCabe (October 31) Monday morning, October 31, 2016, Comey held staff meeting, which
Special Counsel attended. According Special Counsel contemporaneous notes,
during the meeting Comey said Need figure out how get our folks
understand why leaks hurt our organization. That same day McCabe and Comey
had face-to-face conversation about the October WSJ article. The accounts
they provided the OIG this discussion contradicted one another. Both McCabe and PADAG told the OIG that the account the August 12, 2016 telephone
call given the October 30, 2016 WSJ article was accurate description their discussion.
However, PADAG told the OIG that thought that the Bureau was trying spin this conversation
some evidence political interference, which was totally unfair.
McCabe Account
According McCabe testimony the OIG November 29, 2017, and
Comey discussed the October WSJ article person October 31, 2016, when
McCabe returned the office from trip McCabe said that told
Comey that had authorized AD/OPA and Special Counsel disclose the account the August 12th call and did not say anything suggest any way that was
unauthorized. McCabe told that Comey did not react negatively, just kind
accepted it. McCabe also told Comey thought was good idea that they
presented this information rebut the inaccurate and one-sided narrative that the
FBI was not doing its job and was subject DOJ political pressure, but the
Department and PADAG were likely angry that this information made its way
into the paper.
McCabe told that did not recall telling Comey prior publication the
October article that intended authorize had authorized Special Counsel
and AD/OPA recount his August call with PADAG the WSJ, although said was possible did. When asked why did not discuss with the Director
advance, McCabe said the Director was very, very occupied the time with the
Weiner laptop issue. McCabe told that had not been out town, would
have talked Comey about the disclosure advance because involved
significant issue. When questioned the OIG whether, Deputy Director, had the capability reach Comey wherever was and whenever needed,
McCabe acknowledged that did but added was challenging between
October and 28, given the Weiner laptop issue and the fact that Comey told him did not want discuss that issue with him.
Comey Account questioned Comey specifically about the portion the October WSJ
article that pertained the PADAG call. Comey told that recalled seeing this
article but did not know how the disclosure about the PADAG call the October
article happened. said that was very concerned about that part the
article because felt would further poison the FBI relationship with
Department and explicitly confirms the existence criminal investigation
the Clinton Foundation. Comey told considered the disclosure about the
PADAG call problematic because related sensitive FBI information and was
unauthorized, unless either McCabe authorized and Comey knew that did
not authorize it.
Comey told that, prior the article publication, did not have any
discussions with McCabe regarding disclosure the August PADAG call.
According Comey, discussed the issue with McCabe after the article was
published, and that time McCabe definitely did not tell that authorized
the disclosure the PADAG call. Comey said that McCabe gave him the exact
opposite impression: don remember exactly how, but remember some form fashion
and could have been like can you believe this crap? How does this
stuff get out kind thing? But took from whatever communication had that wasn involved it.
... have strong impression conveyed wasn boss.
And don think that was saying those words, think was most
likely saying don know how this shit gets the media why
would people talk about this kind thing, words that would fairly
take Andy, didn it. And actually didn suspect Andy,
after conversations with [my chief staff], worry was, was his
aide [Special Counsel] doing it.
When asked the OIG about whether would have approved the
disclosure about the PADAG call the WSJ, Comey stated: [S]o just make
sure theres fuzz it, did not authorize this. would not have authorized this. someone says that did, then ought have another conversation because doesnt make lot sense me.
Comey said believed that McCabe would have known from experience
discuss any disclosures regarding pending FBI investigations with Comey before
releasing such information the media. Comey told that McCabe would have
known that the disclosure the existence specific investigation was
significant event that should discuss with first given Comey responsibility FBI Director for how the FBI interacts with the world. Comey told that the
disclosure the existence specific investigation would require much internal
discussion the form and wording, and would not done through anonymous[]
source[s] newspaper. Comey further told that would not have
authorized the disclosure the account the McCabe-PADAG August call, even argument had been made that was the best interest the FBI. Comey
said that such argument would not have been persuasive for him light the
following circumstances: (1) the disclosure involved publicly confirming the
existence the Investigation, which Comey had declined months earlier
during testimony before Congress; (2) the disclosure risked harming FBIDepartment relations; and (3) the disclosure occurred days after the firestorm
surrounding the October letter Congress re-opening the Clinton E-mail
Investigation.
10.
Knowledge Other FBI Executives
McCabe told that among FBI executive managers people knew that
generally had authorized the disclosure the Wall Street Journal, because
was conversation and the fact that [AD/OPA] and [Special Counsel] were
engaging with Devlin Barrett over the article was not secret. McCabe identified
several FBI managers who believed likely possibly would have known, based his interactions with them, that authorized Special Counsel and AD/OPA
talk the WSJ and disclose the account his August call with PADAG.
However, none the potential witnesses identified McCabe (FBI-GC,
Comey Chief Staff, The Counterintelligence Assistant Director AD-CI and
McCabe then-Chief Staff corroborated this recalled knowing the time,
even now, that McCabe had authorized the disclosure. FBI-GC told that, had
McCabe discussed the matter with him, would have counseled McCabe avoid
anything related the Investigation, including authorizing disclosures the
press, given FBI-GC and Comey pending concerns about McCabe potential
appearance issues Clinton-related matters. Comey Chief Staff, AD-CI, and
McCabe Chief Staff told that had they heard about such authorization
they would have remembered because would have been significant and spurred
conversation among other senior executive managers. These witnesses also told
that because the disclosure detailed private conversation between two highranking officials the FBI and the Department high-profile investigation, they
did not believe that was authorized disclosure. McCabe Chief Staff told
that: just cant imagine that the Deputy would have authorized the leak. just doesnt seem serve, mean, guess serves, serves the
purpose the Deputy saying, hey look, you want shut this
thing down? guess serves Andy that way, but really, really
highlights dysfunction between the FBI and the, and DOJ. And
that end, doesnt really serve the greater good.
11.
McCabe Admonishes NY-ADIC for Investigation Leaks
Following November WSJ Article (November November 2016, the WSJ published another story Barrett the
Investigation and repeated parts the account the McCabe-PADAG call. That
evening, McCabe e-mailed NY-ADIC and stated: This the latest WSJ article. Call tomorrow. According NY-ADIC calendar notes November and
testimony the OIG, NY-ADIC and McCabe spoke for approximately minutes
around a.m., regarding leaks and WSJ article and that McCabe was angry.
NY-ADIC calendar notes also reflect that McCabe expressed him: will
consequence[s] and get bottom post elect[ion]. Need leaks stop.
Damaging org.
McCabe told the OIG that did not recall the details his conversation with
NY-ADIC November but was probably about leaks the media.
12.
INSD Opens Investigation the WSJ Leak (May 2017) May 2017, the FBI Inspection Division (INSD) expanded pre-existing
investigation media leaks include determining the source the information
the October WSJ article regarding the August McCabe-PADAG call. INSD
added the October article their pre-existing matter because appeared
FBI-GC told that McCabe had told him recently discussions attending OIG interviews
that the OIG was looking the October article and that he, McCabe, had authorized the disclosure some unspecified information that appeared that article.
involve instance someone the FBI leaking the Deputy Director private
conversations the media.
13.
INSD Interviews McCabe under Oath May
INSD interviewed McCabe under oath regarding the October WSJ article May 2017. The INSD investigators documented the May interview
contemporaneous notes and draft Signed Sworn Statement prepared shortly
after the interview, and later provided testimony the OIG regarding their
recollections McCabe testimony. his interview with the OIG November
29, 2017, McCabe provided starkly different account what believes said
and what occurred during this interview. Because these conflicting accounts are
central the issues addressed this report, address the INSD accounts and
McCabe account detail separate subsections below.
INSD Written Record the Interview and
Testimony Interviewing Agents
Two INSD agents, Supervisory Special Agent INSD-SSA1 and the thenChief the INSD Internal Investigations Section INSD Section Chief
interviewed McCabe under oath his office the afternoon May concerning
the leak matters they were investigating. During the interview, after discussing
with McCabe unrelated media leak allegation, the INSD agents provided McCabe
with copy the October article review, and which McCabe initialed.
According INSD SSA contemporaneous notes and both agents testimony
the OIG, INSD drew McCabe attention specifically the portion the October
WSJ article regarding McCabe August call with the PADAG.
INSD-Section Chief told that the entire interview, including the discussion the October article, was conducted the privacy McCabe personal office
with just McCabe,
and INSD-SSA1 attendance, while they were sitting table McCabe office, where McCabe initialed the copy the WSJ article.
INSD-Section Chief told that all the INSD interviews with McCabe were
conducted the privacy his office his table from beginning end. INSDSection Chief said that INSD standard practice conduct interview
private setting solely with INSD agents and the particular witness involved the
matter.
INSD-SSA1 took two and half pages contemporaneous notes during the
interview, almost all which concerned the October article and the August
call between McCabe and PADAG. According INSD-SSA1 notes and testimony the OIG, McCabe was given opportunity review the article and then told
Later the day, after the interview, President Trump fired FBI Director Comey, and McCabe
became Acting FBI Director, position remained until Director Wray confirmation August
2017.
INSD-Section Chief has since been promoted
the agents that remembered the article and said that the account the article his August call with PADAG was accurate. Also according INSD-SSA1
contemporaneous notes and testimony the OIG, McCabe told them that had idea where came from, that was who the source was who disclosed the
account his August call with PADAG the WSJ. INSD-SSA1 further told the
OIG that McCabe stated during the interview that had related the account the
August call others numerous times, leaving INSD-SSA1 with the impression
that INSD-SSA1 would not get anywhere asking McCabe how many people
could have known about what appeared private conversation between him
and PADAG. INSD-SSA1 told that didn need take many notes during the
interview because, that point, viewed McCabe the victim the leak and
McCabe had told the INSD agents that did not know how this happened. INSDSSA1 also told that the whole interaction was short, maybe minutes, and
flowing because McCabe was seemingly the victim and claimed did not know
who did it. INSD-SSA1 said that McCabe information could summarized one
paragraph his draft statement.
Similarly, INSD-Section Chief told that the overarching take-aways from
their interview with McCabe were that McCabe did not grant anyone permission
divulge the account his August call with PADAG the media, had not
personally shared that information with the media, and considered leak.
INSD-Section Chief also told that McCabe acknowledged that had expressed
the sentiment reflected the quote are you telling that need shut down
validly predicated investigation, PADAG, and was disappointed that had
appeared the article. INSD-Section Chief further told that their discussion
with McCabe about the October article was not rushed and that none their
discussions with McCabe media leaks ended abruptly.
INSD Prepares Draft Statement for McCabe
Sign, Which McCabe Fails (May and June
23)
Three days later, May 12, 2017, INSD e-mailed McCabe draft Signed
Sworn Statement (SSS) for his review and signature that initially concerned
unrelated leak matter but that had been revised include his comments the
May interview about the October WSJ article. The e-mail highlighted that
new paragraph had been added, starting page 10, regarding statements made McCabe about the October article. This paragraph stated: 05/09/2017, [INSD-Section Chief] and [INSD-SSA1] provided
with photocopy Wall Street Journal article, dated 10/30/2016,
and requested evaluate and assess the content the first three
paragraphs appearing the last page for accuracy. assessment the referenced portion the article that basically accurate
depiction actual telephonic interaction had with Department Justice (DOJ) executive. not know the identity the source
the information contained the article. Since this event, have
shared the circumstances this interaction with numerous FBI senior
executives and other FBI personnel. gave one authority share
any information relative interaction with the DOJ executive with
any member the media. initialed photocopy the article, which attached statement Exhibit Number
This draft SSS paragraph consistent with INSD contemporaneous notes
the May interview and the sworn recollections both INSD agents who
interviewed McCabe, they described the OIG. approximately month later, McCabe had failed execute and return
the draft SSS. Accordingly, June 23, INSD again e-mailed him and again
requested that review and sign it. However, INSD accidentally sent
different FBI employee rather than then-Acting Director Andrew McCabe. The
unintended recipient forwarded the INSD e-mail then-Acting Director McCabe.
That same date, McCabe e-mailed INSD note the error the address. McCabe
did not sign the draft SSS and did not communicate with INSD regarding the draft
SSS until August 18, described below.
McCabe November 29, 2017 Account the May
INSD Interview and His Response Draft
Statement
During his OIG interview November 29, 2017, McCabe provided very
different account his interactions with INSD May Specifically, McCabe told
the OIG that the INSD agents must have gotten wrong when they wrote the
draft SSS that told them May that did not authorize the conversation
and that did not know who the source was. McCabe said that did not believe told INSD that did not authorize the disclosure, but added dont remember
what said them. added dont remember discussing authorization that
article with INSD and that the INSD folks and walked away from that, from that
exchange with difference understanding. However, acknowledged the
OIG that his initials appeared the copy the WSJ article that INSD presented
him for review during the interview. McCabe told the OIG that did not know and
could not explain how INSD got the impression that thought was
unauthorized leak because said does not believe told INSD that.
McCabe also asserted that the May meeting concerned unrelated leak
matter and that the discussion about the October article occurred near the end the meeting when one the people that team pulled aside and asked question about the Wall Street Journal article. elaborated stating that the INSD agents were walking out office into the hallway, and [INSDSection Chief] kind grabbed the arm and said, hey, let ask you about
something else. McCabe said that and INSD-Section Chief were still his
office, thought standing, during the conversation but that the other two INSD
agents (McCabe recalled there being three INSD agents present that day, not two)
were outside his office. said INSD-Section Chief showed him the October
WSJ article that time and asked him question two about it. And that was it. was very quick exchange. McCabe said was confused why this article
was even being raised because did not relate different media leak matter
that McCabe asserted was the main focus their meeting May
McCabe told the OIG that did not remember when first reviewed the
revised draft SSS addressing the October WSJ article, but that could have
been months later after received it. said: dont remember reviewing the
statement while was Acting Director. Its possible, but dont remember when
actually, think its possible just put the entire thing aside and said Ill deal with
that some other time. The other time ended being when was back Deputy
Director. McCabe returned his position Deputy Director after Director Wray
was confirmed, August 2017.
14.
McCabe Initial Account under Oath the OIG July
28, 2017 Friday, July 28, 2017, the OIG interviewed McCabe under oath
connection with its ongoing review various FBI and Department actions
advance the 2016 Election. The primary focus the interview was determine
McCabe awareness the existence certain text messages between Special
Counsel and DAD that the OIG had recently discovered. During the course the
interview, the OIG showed McCabe text messages dated October 27, 28, and
from Special Counsel DAD, indicating that Special Counsel had been contact
with WSJ reporter Barrett and appeared have been source for the October
WSJ article. the time the interview, the OIG was not aware INSD May
interview McCabe.
The OIG showed McCabe text exchange October which DAD
forwarded article from the Washington Post Special Counsel, entitled Justice
officials warned FBI that Comeys decision update Congress was not consistent
with department policy. DAD texted This all [PADAG]. Special Counsel
responded Yeah saw it. Makes feel WAY less bad about throwing him under
the bus the forthcoming article. These texts suggested that Special Counsel
may have provided the information Barrett concerning McCabe August call
that eventually appeared the October WSJ article. After the OIG showed
these text messages McCabe, the following exchange took place:
OIG: Which were not sure what [CF] relates to, perhaps Clinton
Foundation. you happen know?
MR. MCCABE: dont know what shes referring to.
OIG: perhaps code name?
MR. MCCABE: Not one that recall, but this thing like right the
middle the allegations about me, and dont really want get
into discussing this article with you.
OIG: Okay.
MR. MCCABE: Because just seems like were kind crossing the
strings little bit there.
OIG: Was she ever authorized speak reporters this time
period, was [Special Counsel]?
MR. MCCABE: Not that aware of.
Later the interview, the OIG directed McCabe attention other texts
from October and indicating that Special Counsel was talking Barrett.
McCabe stated was not even town during those days. cant tell you where
she was what she was doing.
15.
McCabe Calls the OIG August Correct his
Testimony Tuesday, August 2017, McCabe placed telephone call OIG
Assistant Inspector General AIG correct the statement gave July 28. e-mail prepared the same day, AIG summarized the call, relevant part,
follows:
McCabe stated that believes that [Special Counsel] may have been
authorized him work with [AD/OPA] and speak with the WSJ
for the late October article. said had worked with [Special
Counsel] previous WSJ article earlier the month when they
spent the day trying correct inaccuracies. the time the second
article was being prepared, McCabe was out town believes may have authorized [Special Counsel] work
with [AD/OPA] and speak Devlin Barrett (the WSJ reporter) because
she had previously worked with McCabe the issues raised his
wife political campaign and was very familiar with those issues said [AD/OPA] would familiar with Special Counsel role and
authority speak.
The OIG questioned McCabe about his August call during his OIG interview, November 29. McCabe told the OIG that called AIG August after
spending lot time thinking about over the weekend, and that further
recollection, yeah, remember authorizing [Special Counsel] and [AD/OPA] talk the Wall Street Journal. said was important that [AIG] and you all
did not have the misimpression about the authorization that had given to,
[AD/OPA] and [Special Counsel] interact with Devlin Barrett that article.
further stated that was important him that the OIG not start heading off
direction [AD/OPA] and [Special Counsel] thats not, that would not have been
accurate.
When the OIG pointed out that McCabe statement July that didn
know where Special Counsel was what she was doing October was
inaccurate, stated:
Yeah, and Ive said before, and she made clear, was very concerned, think said that time, uncomfortable about discussing things that
thought were outside the scope that [AIG] had identified for that day And felt like thats the direction that the questions were coming from.
didnt feel comfortable saying, you know, vouching for what was [DAD]
and [Special Counsel]s texts and saying what they meant. had not
thought about the Wall Street Journal article and the conversations had
around quite long time. And so, misspoke.
McCabe denied that being shown the text messages July that indicated
Special Counsel had spoken Barrett caused him change his account order
protect Special Counsel. McCabe told the OIG that this thinking process was done own without talking any FBI employees reviewing past e-mails text
messages. stated that did not discuss the Devlin texts with Special Counsel
after the July interview. While Special Counsel told the OIG that following
McCabe July OIG interview, she and McCabe discussed her text messages, she
said that McCabe did not discuss his OIG testimony about the WSJ article, the
WSJ article itself, that time. Special Counsel stated that she and McCabe did not
discuss getting their stories straight with respect the WSJ article. Special
Counsel told the OIG that the last time she spoke with McCabe about the WSJ
article was approximately October 2016 (when the article was published).
16.
INSD and the OIG Interview Special Counsel under Oath
Regarding the October Article (August September
October 26) August 2017, INSD interviewed Special Counsel concerning the
October article. that time, INSD investigators were not aware Special
Counsel texts October 27, 28, and concerning her contacts with Barrett and
they had not made progress uncovering who may have been the source the
account the August McCabe-PADAG call provided the WSJ. During the
interview, Special Counsel told INSD agents under oath that she was source for
the disclosure the account the August McCabe-PADAG call, the disclosure
was fully authorized McCabe, and Special Counsel and AD/OPA provided the
information Barrett telephone call from the FBI OPA office. Special Counsel
signed SSS this effect August 15, 2017, which included exhibit her
contemporaneous notes the discussions with Barrett October and 28,
2016. Special Counsel gave the same account the OIG two subsequent
interviews September and October 26, 2017.
17.
INSD Interviews McCabe Again (August 18) August 18, 2017, INSD-SSA1 and second SSA INSD-SSA2 reinterviewed McCabe after being told Special Counsel that was McCabe who had
authorized the conversation with Barrett advance the October WSJ article. light Special Counsel testimony, INSD-SSA1 told that, during the
re-interview, affirmatively showed McCabe the WSJ article again and asked him
again authorized the disclosure regarding the PADAG call because INSD had
received conflicting information. INSD-SSA1 said McCabe looked it, and read
it. And nice could be, said yep. Yep, did, although said did not
recall specifically doing it. INSD-SSA1 stated that McCabe said did not recall
authorizing the description the PADAG call, but that McCabe took responsibility, took ownership it, and that was okay with it. According INSDSSA1 testimony: remember saying him, at, said, sir, you understand that put
lot work into this based what youve told us. mean, and even
said, long nights and weekends working this, trying find out who
amongst your ranks trusted people would, would something like
that. And kind just looked down, kind nodded, and said, yeah, sorry.
INSD-SSA1 contemporaneous notes also reflected that said McCabe
that INSD would have taken different approach McCabe had told and
[INSD-Section Chief] that authorized the article WSJ. McCabe responded,
according INSD-SSA1 notes, know but there was lot going the
time.
According INSD-SSA2, and consistent with
contemporaneous notes,
McCabe stated that did authorize Special Counsel and AD/OPA speak
background Barrett for the article. INSD-SSA2 said that McCabe told them that did not specifically recall authorizing the disclosure the PADAG call the
WSJ, but assumes did.
McCabe told that convened the August meeting with INSD for the
purpose telling them that would not sign the signed sworn statement because,
among other things, inaccurately reflected that had not authorized the
disclosure the WSJ. McCabe told that the August meeting was the first
time told INSD that the signed sworn statement was inaccurate.
18.
The OIG Assumes Responsibility for the Investigation
(August 31)
Following the INSD interviews Special Counsel and McCabe August
2017, INSD officials became concerned that there was significant question
whether Deputy Director McCabe had testified truthfully INSD May INSDSection Chief told that she recommended turning the matter over the OIG
because was longer appropriate for GS-14 agents the Internal
Investigations Section continue the investigation their Deputy Director, and
that INSD needed turn this over independent authority review and
investigate. The Assistant Director for INSD agreed, and referred the matter
the OIG. The OIG formally accepted the referral August 31, 2017.
19.
The OIG Interviews McCabe under Oath November November 29, 2017, the OIG interviewed McCabe under oath again, this
time addressing the WSJ leak issue detail. McCabe was represented counsel
during the interview, and, consistent with OIG practice, the interview was audio
recorded. Among other things, and detailed prior sections, McCabe told the
OIG:
that authorized Special Counsel and AD/OPA disclose his August
12, 2016 conversation with PADAG the WSJ and had frequent
contact and communication with Special Counsel about the WSJ
article, before was published, while was out town October and 28;
that after publication the October WSJ article told Comey that (McCabe) had authorized the disclosure, and that Comey did not
react negatively, just kind accepted and thought was good
that they presented this information rebut the inaccurate and onesided narrative that the FBI was not doing its job;
that other FBI executive managers knew generally that had
authorized the disclosure;
that, notwithstanding the accounts the INSD agents, contemporary
notes, the draft SSS, did not tell INSD May that had not
authorized the disclosure the WSJ about the PADAG call;
that the end the May meeting with the INSD agents
unrelated leak matter was pulled aside INSD-Section Chief alone
and asked question two about the October WSJ article;
that, despite being asked sign the SSS multiple occasions,
probably did not review the language the draft SSS until after
Director Wray was confirmed (which was August 2017);
that the explanation for his inaccurate July testimony the OIG
was that was surprised asked about the WSJ matter during
that interview;
that between May and August did not affirmatively tell INSD had authorized the disclosure; and
IV.
that did not recall discussing the disclosure with Comey advance authorizing it, although was possible that did;
that convened the August meeting with INSD tell them
would not sign the SSS because, among other things, the statement denying had authorized the disclosure was not accurate.
OIG Analysis
Lack Candor concluded that McCabe lacked candor four separate occasions
connection with the disclosure the WSJ. Three those occasions involved his
testimony under oath.
Lack Candor with Then-Director Comey around
October 31, 2016 concluded that McCabe lacked candor during his conversation with thenDirector Comey about October 31, 2016, when they discussed the October
WSJ article. detailed above, Comey and McCabe gave starkly conflicting
accounts this conversation. Comey said that McCabe definitely did not tell
Comey that had authorized the disclosure about the PADAG call. the
contrary, Comey told the OIG that, about October 31, McCabe led him
believe form fashion that McCabe did not authorize the disclosure about the
PADAG call the WSJ. Comey described how McCabe gave Comey the impression
that McCabe had not authorized the disclosure about the PADAG call, was not
involved the disclosure, and did not know how happened. contrast, McCabe
asserted that explicitly told Comey during that conversation that authorized
the disclosure and that Comey agreed was good idea.
While the only direct evidence regarding this McCabe-Comey conversation
were the recollections the two participants, there considerable circumstantial
evidence and concluded that the overwhelming weight that evidence
supported Comey version the conversation. Indeed, none the circumstantial
evidence provided support for McCabe account the discussion; rather, found
that much the available evidence undercut McCabe claim.
First, Comey had pointedly refused confirm the existence the
Investigation testimony Congress just months earlier. Additionally, month
before McCabe authorized the disclosure, Comey also refused confirm deny
two different investigations during FBI oversight hearing before the House
Judiciary Committee. Comey stated during the hearing: our standard not
confirm deny the existence investigations. Comey noted that there
public interest exception, but our overwhelming rule not comment except certain exceptional circumstances. Comey told that when the FBI made
disclosures this type during his tenure, such occurred connection with the
Clinton E-mail and Russia investigations, did only after careful deliberations form and wording; also noted that such disclosure would not made
through anonymously sourced quote given single reporter. found
highly improbable that Comey would have been approving decision McCabe disclose reporter, background, information essentially confirming the
existence FBI investigation that Comey himself had refused confirm when
testifying before Congress.
Second, the morning after the article appeared online (and the same day appeared print), Comey expressed concerns his staff meeting about the
volume leaks, evidenced Special Counsel contemporaneous notes the
meeting. found highly unlikely that Comey, discussion with McCabe that
same day, would have been accepting disclosure authorized McCabe that
looked exactly like the type leak that was condemning his staff. comments submitted his counsel response draft this report, McCabe stated
there indication that any Director Comey comments were referring the PADAG call.
the contrary, detailed this report and made clear the draft that was made available for
McCabe and his counsel review, the OIG questioned Comey with specific reference the portion
the WSJ article that related McCabe call August with PADAG. There ambiguity.
Comey told that, the time, was very concerned about the disclosure for number
reasons, including the impact this disclosure FBI-DOJ relations. And Comey told that that
McCabe led him believe that McCabe had nothing with the disclosure, most likely stating
that McCabe didn know where the disclosure came from, and definitely did not state Comey that
he, McCabe, authorized the disclosure.
Third, the disclosure occurred less than days before the presidential
election and just days after the firestorm surrounding Comey letter Congress
about taking additional steps the Clinton E-mail Investigation. Disclosure the
PADAG call risked subjecting the FBI even more criticism about potentially
affecting the imminent presidential election, confirming the existence
previously unconfirmed criminal investigation involving candidate Clinton.
highly doubt that Comey, who himself expressed concern that the WSJ
disclosure occurred days after his October letter, would have countenanced
such disclosure McCabe within days the election had been told about it.
Fourth, publishing the account the PADAG call risked further poisoning
the FBI relationship with DOJ leadership time was already under great
strain because of, among other things, Comey decision notify Congress
October that the FBI was taking additional steps the Clinton E-mail
Investigation and the Department leadership concern about leaks emanating from
the FBI.
Fifth, October 27, Comey and FBI-GC expressed concerns McCabe
about whether McCabe should participate further the Clinton E-mail Investigation
because the appearance created the campaign contributions his wife
campaign. The same logic applied the Investigation. that same date,
McCabe authorized Special Counsel discuss the August PADAG call with the
WSJ reporter, thereby confirming the FBI criminal investigation. McCabe text
message Special Counsel late October decision recusal will
made until return and weigh shows that knew the issue recusal was
clearly the table; indeed, McCabe announced his recusal from both Clintonrelated matters November Under these circumstances, McCabe had strong
reason not tell Comey October that had authorized the disclosure the
WSJ about the Investigation: would have been admission that McCabe had
taken action relating that investigation exactly the time that McCabe recusal
from Clinton-related matters was under consideration Comey. Further, found extremely unlikely, McCabe now claims, that not only told Comey about his
decision authorize the disclosure, but that Comey thought was good idea
for McCabe have taken that action.
Sixth, other senior FBI official corroborated McCabe testimony that,
among FBI executive leadership, people knew that generally had authorized
the disclosure. Rather, multiple witnesses identified McCabe told that
because the information contained the WSJ report, they did not believe was authorized disclosure. They also said that had they heard about such
authorization they would have recalled because would have been unusual.
Other than Special Counsel, witness interviewed told that they knew that
this disclosure had been authorized the time. think likely that least
Just few days earlier, McCabe had participated conference call with then-Attorney
General Lynch regarding leaks during which McCabe heard her use more forceful language than she
had ever used any other time.
some FBI executives would have been aware McCabe authorization had
told Comey what had done.
Finally, Comey testimony that McCabe did not tell him that McCabe had
authorized the disclosure the WSJ entirely consistent with McCabe statement INSD May that had idea where [the disclosure] came from who
the source was, well his claim the OIG July that was not aware
that Special Counsel had disclosed the information the WSJ. Conversely,
McCabe claim that told Comey not only inconsistent with his May and July statements the INSD and OIG, respectively, but there would reason for
McCabe not tell INSD and OIG about his actions those dates had already
admitted them Comey. Indeed, McCabe contacted the OIG August
attempt correct his July testimony only after was made aware July
that the OIG had text messages from Special Counsel that would likely enable the
OIG soon learn the truth about who authorized Special Counsel actions.
Taking all these factors into account, concluded that McCabe did not
tell Comey around October (or any other time) that (McCabe) had
authorized the disclosure information about the Investigation the WSJ.
Had McCabe done so, believe that Comey would have objected the disclosure.
McCabe disclosure was attempt make himself look good making senior
department leadership, specifically the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General,
look bad. While the disclosure may have served McCabe personal interests letter submitted McCabe counsel after reviewing draft this report, McCabe
argues that the OIG should credit Mr. McCabe account over Director Comey and complains that
the report paints Director Comey white knight carefully guarding FBI information, while
overlooking that Mr. McCabe account more credible for least three key reasons. The first
reason cited McCabe why should believed over Comey because claims have
concrete recollection the conversation between the two them October 31, while argues
Comey does not. noteworthy that McCabe did not articulate such concrete recollection during
any four prior interviews. That is, did not mention during his May INSD interview, his July OIG interview, his August OIG call, his August INSD interview. was not until his
November OIG interview McCabe fifth contact with INSD and the OIG about the WSJ article
that first provided this concrete recollection his conversation with Comey, which true would
have been critical for INSD and the OIG know soon possible and McCabe interest share soon possible. note the report, none the circumstantial evidence supports McCabe
claim, while the overwhelming weight the circumstantial evidence support Comey recollection. his submission, McCabe presented evidence corroborate his version events. Instead,
McCabe focuses entirely attacking the credibility Comey recollection. found his concrete
recollection argument without merit. The second reason cited McCabe why should
believed over Comey because Comey was distracted the time because his need October deal with the Weiner laptop and Clinton E-mail Investigation issues. Given the significance
McCabe disclosure, and the potential impact had FBI/DOJ relations, have little doubt that, matter how focused Comey was the Clinton E-mail Investigation Weiner laptop issues
other matters, Comey would have recalled McCabe telling him that had been the source the
disclosure, fact McCabe had told Comey the truth. Finally, McCabe argues that Comey would
have every incentive distance himself from this disclosure due McCabe belief that the OIG
reviewing Comey disclosure other information the media. However, McCabe provides factual
basis for this claim and fails address the corroborating circumstances described the report that
support Comey recollection. the absence any evidence supporting McCabe claim, not
credit it.
seeking rebut the WSJ article October and avoid another personally
damaging WSJ story October 30, did the expense undermining public
confidence the Department whole. not believe that Comey would
have been approving such disclosure McCabe had been told about it.
For the same reasons, reject the suggestion that Comey simply forgot
misremembered what McCabe told him. McCabe had told Comey that had
authorized this significant disclosure, believe would have surprised Comey and
that Comey would have remembered when the OIG interviewed him
approximately year later. Similarly, believe the other FBI executives would
have remembered too had they been told about it.
Comey did not testify that McCabe affirmatively and explicitly denied having
authorized the disclosure, but rather that McCabe form fashion led him
believe that McCabe did not know how the WSJ got the account the PADAG call,
and definitely didn tell [Comey] authorized it. The FBI Offense code 2.5
(Lack Candor Oath) does not require explicit false statement establish
lack candor. applies the failure fully forthright, the concealment
omission material fact/information. concluded that McCabe lacked candor concealing from Comey his role authorizing the disclosure the WSJ. response his review draft this report, counsel for McCabe argued that the OIG
failed satisfy the elements FBI Offense Code 2.5, because McCabe statements then-Director
Comey were part casual interaction and not the result interaction which supervisor
was formally questioning employee regarding his conduct. disagree. Comey testimony was
that McCabe conveyed Comey, some form fashion, that was not McCabe who had disclosed the WSJ the August PADAG call confirming the existence the previously unconfirmed
Investigation. The OIG does not accept that the FBI Offense Code tolerates its Deputy Director
deceptive statements the Director issue importance the Director and the FBI because
the Deputy Director lack candor occurred the context work conversation with the Director opposed formal questioning. addition, although Offense Code 2.5 (Lack Candor
Oath) subjects employees discipline for [k]nowingly providing false information when making
verbal written statement, not under oath, supervisor, when the employee questioned
about his conduct the conduct another person, the FBI Office Professional Responsibility has
previously taken the position litigation that, lack candor the generic term which has
historically been used FBI discipline which its literal meaning means lack forthrightness[.] can mean lying supervisor, not under oath, about work performance. See Ludlum
Department Justice, 278 F.3d 1280, 1284 (Fed. Cir. 2002). Compare FBI Offense Codes 2.10, 2.11
(identifying misconduct relating employee behavior formal administrative matter, defined
include internal disciplinary investigations, OIG investigations, OPR adjudications, EEO Matters,
distinguished from the broader question[ing] about his conduct the conduct another person
Offense Code 2.5). Moreover, the Preamble the FBI Offense Codes and Penalty Guidelines
Governing FBI Internal Disciplinary Process (Preamble) indicates that the Offense Codes and Penalty
Guidelines provide general categories misconduct for which employees may disciplined and,
further, stresses the heightened behavioral and managerial expectations associated with SES
personnel. Preamble Accordingly, the OIG stands its finding that McCabe lacked candor
with the Director under Offense Code 2.5 and subject disciplinary action for such misconduct.
Lack Candor Interview under Oath with INSD Agents May 2017 concluded that McCabe lacked candor during INSD interview under
oath May 2017, when falsely told the agents that had not authorized
the disclosure the WSJ and did not know who did.
Two INSD investigators
testified the OIG
that they clearly recalled McCabe telling them under oath May that did not
know who authorized the disclosure the PADAG call the WSJ. The agents said
that they provided McCabe with copy the article and had him initial it, gave him opportunity read it, and then discussed with him. According the agents,
McCabe told them recalled the article, yet claimed had idea where [the
account the PADAG call] came from who the source was for it. Moreover,
McCabe told the agents that had previously told others about the August call
with PADAG, leaving INSD SSA1 with the impression that INSD would not get
anywhere asking McCabe how many people could have known about what
appeared private conversation between him and PADAG. The agents
recollections are corroborated contemporaneous notes the May interview
taken one the agents and the draft SSS that INSD prepared for McCabe
signature within few days the interview (which McCabe never signed, despite
INSD repeated efforts get him so). Moreover, McCabe denial the
INSD agents was consistent with his responses the OIG during his audiorecorded July interview. found that these FBI employees who had nothing gain and everything lose they did anything but tell the truth regarding the
interview the then-FBI Deputy Director accurately and truthfully recounted the
details what occurred during McCabe May interview. contrast, McCabe account this May interview, which provided
the OIG during his November interview, was wholly unpersuasive. McCabe
claimed that the INSD agents must have gotten wrong when they wrote that
told them May that did not authorize the conversation and that did not
know who the source was. Although McCabe said did not believe that denied
authorizing the disclosure the PADAG call during the interview, could not
provide any alternative account about what actually said. Rather, McCabe
stated that could not remember what told the INSD investigators. McCabe
did not question the competence good faith the INSD interviewers, and also
admitted that could not explain why the investigators got the impression that
McCabe had told them the WSJ article was unauthorized leak. letter submitted his counsel after reviewing draft this report, McCabe offers explanation for the inconsistent accounts McCabe and the INSD agents that was confused
about what portion the October article was being asked about, citing numerous other facts
and quotes from anonymous FBI sources regarding the Investigation the October WSJ article.
The investigative record clear the portion the WSJ article about which the INSD agents were
questioning McCabe. According INSD SSA contemporaneous notes and testimony the OIG,
INSD specifically drew McCabe attention the portion the October WSJ article regarding the
However, apparent effort provide excuse for his untruthful
responses INSD, McCabe sought portray the discussion about the October
article essentially afterthought the agents. found his description the
circumstances surrounding the interview demonstrably false. First, INSDSection Chief flatly contradicted McCabe claim that, the end unrelated
meeting, the agents were walking out his office, one them (INSD-Section
Chief) pulled McCabe aside and asked him question two about the October
article. Second, INSD-SSA1 two and half pages notes the meeting reflected
that significant portion the interview related specifically the account the
PADAG call that appeared the October article. Third, the agent that took the
notes (INSD-SSA1) was not the agent (INSD-Section Chief) that McCabe claimed
pulled him aside. Indeed, McCabe said that INSD-SSA1 and INSD-SSA2 (who did
not attend the May interview) were the hallway outside his office when
contends that INSD-Section Chief asked him about the disclosure the PADAG call the October article, circumstances that INSD-Section Chief denied. Fourth,
McCabe acknowledged that his initials were copy the October article that
the agents gave him review, reflected INSD-SSA1 notes. also considered whether McCabe simply forgot that had authorized the
WSJ disclosure the time his May INSD interview, and therefore made
honest mistake telling INSD did not know who did it. three interviews
under oath, including one with outside counsel, McCabe has never made this claim failed memory, and any event did not find this persuasive
explanation for his inaccurate statement given McCabe other admissions.
First, McCabe acknowledged that the PADAG call was very memorable
event McCabe career. involved dramatic confrontation between McCabe
and the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, one the highest ranking
officials the Department. McCabe told the OIG that, despite his long career
the FBI, had never had conversation like this one with high level
Department Justice official before since August 12, 2016.
Second, McCabe told this was the one and only time his career that
authorized disclosure the media internal discussion with such high level
Department official.
Third, McCabe was deeply involved the disclosure Special Counsel
Barrett; this was not fleeting event but rather one that McCabe was involved
for the entire week. McCabe learned October about Barrett intention
write about the Investigation. October 27, McCabe had authorized Special
August PADAG call. SSA testimony was further corroborated INSD Section Chief who also
noted that McCabe said was disappointed that his conversation with the PADAG had appeared
the October WSJ article. addition, the draft SSS that the INSD agents sent McCabe May stated that McCabe was requested evaluate and assess the content and accuracy the first
three paragraphs appearing the last page the copy that McCabe acknowledged contained his
initials, which was the portion the article addressing the August PADAG call.
was not.
McCabe erroneously testified that INSD-SSA2 was present the May interview, but
Counsel and AD/OPA discuss the investigation with Barrett. McCabe then closely
followed the progress their discussions, including having minute call with
Special Counsel October between Special Counsel first and second calls that
day with Barrett. McCabe also had conversations with Special Counsel October close time her call with Barrett that day. Then, October 30, the day the
article appeared, McCabe called both NY-ADIC and W-ADIC admonish them for
the leaks that appeared the article. The next day, October 31, McCabe had
conversation with Comey about the article. Finally, November the day after
another WSJ article concerning the Investigation, which again included
information about the McCabe-PADAG call, McCabe again admonished NY-ADIC for
leaks that article.
Fourth, McCabe viewed the allegations that the WSJ reporter had told Special
Counsel and AD/OPA that would writing about the October article
incredibly damaging the credibility the FBI, well attack his own
integrity. The October WSJ article challenged McCabe leadership the FBI
directly and personally, specifically his oversight the Investigation. not
believe McCabe would have forgotten his own actions taken connection with the
publication article that was memorable and personal this one.
Fifth, McCabe acknowledged that INSD showed him the October WSJ
article the outset the discussion and gave him opportunity read it, and
that initialed the article and told the agents that remembered it. light the above circumstances, seems highly implausible that McCabe
forgot May what recalled detail during his November OIG testimony: that made active choice authorize Special Counsel and AD/OPA disclose the
PADAG call the best evidence rebut the assertion that McCabe and the FBI
ordered the termination criminal investigation due Department Justice
pressure. therefore concluded that when McCabe told INSD May that did
not know who authorized the disclosure the WSJ, was not due lack
memory. our view, the evidence substantial that was done knowingly and
intentionally.
For these reasons, concluded that McCabe violated FBI Offense Code 2.6
(Lack Candor Under Oath) when falsely told INSD agents May 2017,
that did not know who authorized the disclosure the PADAG call the WSJ.
Lack Candor Interview under Oath with OIG
Investigators July 28, 2017 concluded that McCabe lacked candor during his OIG audio-recorded
interview under oath July 28, 2017, when falsely stated that: (a) was not
aware Special Counsel being authorized speak reporters around October
and (b) did not know, because was out town, where [Special Counsel]
was what she was doing during the relevant time period.
First, with regard McCabe claim that was not aware Special Counsel
being authorized speak reporters around October 30, that claim was
essentially the same false denial that McCabe made the two INSD agents May except this time the false denial was made audio-recorded interview. Thus,
McCabe cannot deny that made the statement, has attempted with
regard his May response INSD agents. Instead, McCabe asserted his
November OIG interview that misspoke during the July interview
because was surprised the topic being raised during that interview and had
not thought about the October article quite long time. However, McCabe
was shown the article and asked questions about less than months earlier the
May INSD interview. Moreover, neither the OIG July interview nor the May
INSD interview did McCabe indicate that lacked recollection needed more time think about the matter. Deputy Director, McCabe well knew the significance OIG and INSD investigations, and the importance being truthful when
questioned under oath agents from those Offices. Moreover, McCabe was
trained law enforcement officer with roughly years law enforcement
experience. this record, not credit his claim that his unequivocal denials
under oath, two occasions within months one another, were the result
being surprised the questions.
Second, with regard McCabe claim that did not know where Special
Counsel was what she was doing during the relevant time period, FBI records
show that McCabe was frequent telephone and text communication with Special
Counsel during that time period and had several communications with her regarding
her calls with Barrett, including minute call after her first call with Barrett and minute call after her final call with Barrett. McCabe own text messages
reflect that McCabe was keenly interested learn about the results Special
Counsel calls with Barrett. therefore found that McCabe claimed ignorance
regarding Special Counsel activities those days was demonstrably false.
For these reasons, concluded that McCabe violated FBI Offense Code 2.6
(Lack Candor Under Oath) when falsely told the OIG July 28, 2017, that:
(a) was not aware Special Counsel being authorized talk reporters and
(b) did not know what Special Counsel was doing the relevant time because was out town. reaching this conclusion, took note the fact that response review draft this report, counsel for McCabe argued that, asking
McCabe about the October 27-30 texts between Special Counsel and DAD regarding the WSJ article,
the OIG engaged improper and unethical conduct, and violated allegedly explicit agreement with
McCabe that when was interviewed the OIG July would not questioned outside the
presence counsel with respect matters for which was being investigated. McCabe provides
evidence support his claim, and based the OIG review the available evidence, including
the transcript McCabe recorded OIG interview July and the OIG contemporaneous notes, described below, McCabe claim contradicted the investigative record. initial matter, the time the July interview, McCabe was not subject OIG
investigation disclosures the October WSJ article, nor did the OIG suspect him having been
the source unauthorized disclosure non-public information related that article. The OIG did
not open its investigation McCabe concerning the WSJ article until August 31, after being informed INSD that McCabe had provided INSD agents with information August 18, 2017, that
contradicted the information that had provided INSD agents May
Second, the OIG has record that McCabe stated advance the July interview that
was represented counsel. Moreover, the recording the July interview shows that time
McCabe called the OIG days later, August and indicated that had been
thinking about the questions had been asked and believed that may have
authorized Special Counsel work with AD/OPA and Barrett the follow-up WSJ
article. McCabe call the OIG August attempt correct his prior false
testimony the OIG was the appropriate course for him take, and was
potentially mitigating factor this misconduct. However, detailed the next
section, found that when McCabe was given the opportunity during his
November OIG interview address and acknowledge his prior false statements the INSD and the OIG, McCabe made additional false statements. Under these
circumstances, concluded that McCabe August call the OIG does not alter
our factual determination that his sworn testimony July lacked candor.
Lack Candor Interview under Oath with OIG
Investigators November 29, 2017 concluded that McCabe lacked candor during OIG interview under oath November 29, 2017, when falsely told the OIG recorded interview that:
(a) told Comey October 31, 2016, that (McCabe) had authorized the
disclosure the WSJ and that Comey agreed was good idea; (b) did not
deny the INSD agents May that had authorized the disclosure the
WSJ; and (c) the May INSD interview occurred the end unrelated meeting
did McCabe give any indication that was represented counsel. The transcript the interview
shows that the OIG informed McCabe, who has law degree, that the interview was about issues
raised the text messages between Special Counsel and DAD, and that the OIG would not
asking McCabe questions about other issues related your recusal the McAulliffe investigation any issues related that. McCabe responded Okay and did not articulate request any further
limitations the questions would answer. The OIG added that This voluntary interview.
What that means that you don want answer question, that fully within your rights. That
will not held against you The recording McCabe interview further demonstrates that the
OIG was entirely solicitous McCabe requests not respond certain questions. Towards the end the interview, before beginning area questioning unrelated Special Counsel/DAD texts
the WSJ article, the OIG prefaced his question McCabe stating you feel this connected
the things that are making you uncomfortable, will you let know? McCabe responded, Yes.
Yeah, you can ask, Ill let you dont feel comfortable going forward, Ill let you know.
later point the interview, after answering number questions unrelated Special Counsel/DAD
texts, McCabe expressed preference for not answering further questions, and the OIG did not ask
further questions the topic.
Third, McCabe submission mischaracterizes October 2017, email exchange with the
OIG evidencing that the time McCabe July OIG interview, McCabe was the subject
OIG leak investigation. noted above, the OIG did not know about McCabe involvement the
disclosure the WSJ the time the July interview, and only opened investigation into his
actions related that disclosure August 31, 2017, after the lack candor referral the OIG
INSD.
Lastly, despite having been questioned length the OIG November 29, 2017, about the
reasons for his false statements the OIG July 28, McCabe never once raised any these issues.
Moreover, the same counsel who submitted behalf McCabe these accusations impropriety
the OIG was present for the entire OIG interview November yet never once raised any these
issues. McCabe had every incentive raise these issues early possible, and surely
November 29, when was represented counsel and was asked pointed questions the OIG
about his July testimony denying that Special Counsel had been authorized speak reporters
during that time period. McCabe did not until nearly months after the July interview and
nearly months after the November interview.
when one the INSD agents pulled him aside and asked him one two questions
about the October article.
First, with regard his claim having told Comey that had authorized
the disclosure, Comey stated precisely the opposite his OIG interview, and the
chronology and circumstances then existing (as described above) make
extraordinarily unlikely that McCabe did and that Comey would simply have
agreed after the fact with McCabe disclosure and thought was good idea.
detailed above, the overwhelming weight evidence supported Comey version
the conversation and not McCabe
Second, with regard McCabe claim that did not deny authorizing the
disclosure the WSJ during the May INSD interview, noted previously the
testimony the INSD agents, the contemporaneous notes the interview, the
draft Signed Sworn Statement prepared days later, and the similar false
statements made McCabe the OIG July wholly undercut the contention McCabe the OIG November 29.
Third, explained above Section A.2., found that McCabe description the May INSD interview about the October WSJ article essentially
afterthought, involving only question two from one the INSD agents the
meeting was ending, was demonstrably false. such, concluded that McCabe testimony the OIG lacked candor
and violated FBI Offense Code 2.6 (Lack Candor- Under Oath) when falsely
testified November 29, 2017, that: (a) told Comey October 31, 2016,
that (McCabe) had authorized the disclosure the WSJ and that Comey agreed was good idea; (b) did not deny the INSD agents May that had
authorized the disclosure the WSJ; and (c) the May INSD interview occurred
the end unrelated meeting when one the INSD agents pulled him aside and
asked him one two questions about the October article.
Media Policies the FBI Deputy Director, McCabe was authorized disclose the
existence the Investigation the public interest exception found Section
3.4 the FBI then-existing Policy Media Relations applied. Similarly, the
Department U.S. Attorneys Manual included public interest exception the
general prohibition disclosing information about ongoing criminal
investigation. However, concluded that McCabe decision confirm the
existence the Investigation through anonymously sourced quote,
recounting the content phone call with senior Department official manner
designed advance his personal interests, was clearly not within the public
interest exception. therefore concluded that McCabe disclosure the
existence ongoing investigation this manner violated the FBI and the
Department media policy and constituted misconduct. initial matter, found entirely unpersuasive McCabe claim
that did not view the disclosure the WSJ about the PADAG call disclosing
the existence the Investigation, and that therefore the FBI prohibitions
commenting about case did not apply. asserted that was not the purpose
the disclosure and there really wasn any discussion the case, the merits
the case, the targets and subjects the case, did not see disclosure
about the Clinton Foundation case. found this explanation lacking
credibility. The sole purpose for authorizing Special Counsel and AD/OPA
disclosure about the August PADAG conversation was make the point that
McCabe had stood the Department that the FBI could continue pursue
its validly predicated Investigation. The only possible conclusion that anyone
could take from such disclosure was confirmation that the FBI was conducting Investigation, fact Comey had pointedly refused confirm public testimony
several months earlier. McCabe himself acknowledged his OIG testimony that his
authorization the disclosure the PADAG call clearly creates the effect
confirming the existence the Investigation. therefore concluded that FBI
and Department policies were plainly applicable the disclosure. our view, McCabe best argument that his decision disclose the August conversation was least arguably consistent with the public interest exception the FBI and Department policies that was the public interest for the FBI
rebut the allegation, from unnamed sources, that FBI leadership had shut down
suppressed the Investigation because improper pressure from the
Department. This allegation was described the WSJ reporter Special Counsel
and AD/OPA the October call and was ultimately reported the October
WSJ article and other press accounts. However, the manner which McCabe
addressed the anonymous allegations about the FBI and the Department
handling the Investigation reflected that McCabe was motivated defend his
integrity and objectivity relation the Investigation, which had been called
into question, and not advance any public interest.
Had McCabe primary concern actually been reassure the public that the
FBI was pursuing the Investigation despite the anonymous claims the article,
the way that the FBI and the Department would usually accomplish that goal
through public statement reassuring the public that the FBI investigating the
matter. course, that would have required McCabe alert Comey the
reporter inquiry and defer Comey and the Department judgment
whether the public interest exception applied and, even did, whether any such
statement would appropriate within days the election. McCabe did not
follow that course. Instead, McCabe, without consulting Comey, authorized
disclosure the PADAG call background one news organization that was
See, e.g., FBI Agents Pressed Unsuccessfully for Probe Clinton Foundation, Washington
Post (Oct 30, 2016).
Moreover, had McCabe raised the issue with Comey that time, believe the same
considerations that led Comey exclude McCabe from the October telephone call, and McCabe
formal recusal November from the Investigation, would have caused Comey prohibit
McCabe from participating any such discussions. Indeed, discussed above, FBI-GC stated that,
had McCabe conferred with him this matter, would have counseled McCabe avoid anything
related the Investigation, including authorizing disclosures the press, given FBI-GC and
Comey pending concerns about McCabe potential appearance issues Clinton-related matters.
directed primarily enhancing McCabe reputation the expense PADAG.
Rather than reassuring the public, the disclosure led further questions about
leaks emanating from the FBI within days election, was part WSJ story
that was predictably headlined, FBI, Justice Feud Clinton Probe, and resulted
another WSJ article November his testimony the OIG, Comey disputed the notion that this disclosure
was the best interest the FBI. Comey acknowledged that one could argue
that the disclosure shows that FBI leadership battling the pencil-pushing
bureaucrats across the street [at Main Justice] and trying the right thing
way the investigators New York and Andy [McCabe] their champion, but
Comey said wouldn have bought this argument because outweighed
the fact that the disclosure would confirm the existence criminal investigation
and harm FBI-DOJ relations. Likewise, FBI-GC told that the problem with the
disclosure was that put bluntly, throws DOJ under the bus, while
accomplishing very little terms countering the narrative that the FBI was
politically motivated. FBI-GC view, disclosure this single conversation
amounted lower level effort influence the narrative when the narrative much higher level and going trajectory that was not possible change
through something like this.
The FBI senior executives interviewed suspected that this disclosur