Judicial Watch: FBI Capitulates on Andrew McCabe Text Messages After Adverse Federal Court Ruling
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch announced today the FBI will finally begin processing Andrew McCabe text message for release after a federal court rejected the FBI’s request to dismiss a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on behalf of Jeffrey A. Danik, a retired FBI supervisory special agent, for emails and text messages of former-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe (Jeffrey A. Danik v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-01792). Mr. Danik filed his first request for the records in 2016.
After years of suggesting that text messages are not subject to FOIA, the FBI told the court in a recent filingthat it has located 150 text messages and 5,696 emails but will not have a schedule to release the records until August 28, 2020.
Judicial Watch filed the suit in 2017 in support of Danik’s October 25, 2016, and February 28, 2017, FOIA requests for records about McCabe’s “conflicts of interest” regarding his wife’s (Dr. Jill McCabe’s) political campaign and Hillary Clinton. Specifically, the two FOIA requests are for:
Text messages and emails of McCabe containing “Dr. Jill McCabe,” “Jill,” “Common Good VA,” “Terry McAuliffe,” “Clinton,” “Virginia Democratic Party,” “Democrat,” “Conflict,” “Senate,” “Virginia Senate,” “Until I return,” “Paris,” “France,” “Campaign,” “Run,” “Political,” “Wife,” “Donation,” “OGC,” Email,” or “New York Times.”
United States District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, denied the DOJ’s motion to dismiss the case, concluding that DOJ had not provided sufficient evidence to support its attempt to end the lawsuit without providing all emails and text messages responsive to the FOIA requests.
“The FBI has outrageously stonewalled for years the release of these McCabe text messages about Clinton,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “You can be sure the text messages are something the corrupted FBI doesn’t want the American people to see.”
In November 2017, in a related case, Judicial Watch uncovered Justice Department records concerning ethics issues related to McCabe’s involvement with his wife’s political campaign. The documents include an email showing Mrs. McCabe was recruited for a Virginia state senate race in February 2015 by then-Virginia Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam’s office. The news that former Secretary of State Clinton used a private email server broke five days later, on March 2, 2015. Five days after that, former Clinton Foundation board member and Democrat party fundraiser, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, met with the McCabes. She announced her candidacy on March 12. Soon afterward, Clinton/McAuliffe-aligned political groups donated nearly $700,000 (40% of the campaign’s total funds) to McCabe’s wife for her campaign.
Also in November 2017, Judicial Watch discovered Justice Department records showing that McCabe secretly had recused himself from the investigation into Clinton’s unsecure, non-government email server on November 1, 2016, one week prior to the presidential election. The Clinton email probe was codenamed “Midyear Exam.” While working as Assistant Director in Charge of the Washington Field Office, McCabe controlled resources supporting the investigation into Clinton’s email scandal. An October 2016 internal FBI memorandum labeled “Overview of Deputy Director McCabe’s Recusal Related To Dr. McCabe’s Campaign for Political Office,” details talking points about McCabe’s various potential conflicts of interest, including the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s illicit server, which officially began in July 2015.
McCabe was fired from the FBI in March 2018 for leaking to the media and lacking “candor.”