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Thursday, January 2, 2020
McCabe ADMITS He LIED to FBI About Wall Street Journal LEAK
Andrew McCabe. Getty Images Bob Fredericks
Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe apologized for lying to agents who spent weeks investigating the source of a leak to the Wall Street Journal that actually came from him, new documents reveal.
Shortly before the 2016 election, The Journal reported that an FBI investigation was underway involving then-candidate Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.
McCabe in May 2017 denied that he was the source of the leak — but later fessed up, angering bureau investigators who had been spinning their wheels trying to identify the source of the leak.
The documents, which the FBI released in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, include transcripts of McCabe’s conversations with investigators, who were frustrated after wasting their time on the probe.
On Aug. 18, 2017, FBI officials grilled McCabe again to try to unravel what they said was “conflicting information” they had gathered about the possible leak to the Journal, The Daily Beast reported.
“I need to know from you, did you authorize this article? Were you aware of it? Did you authorize it?” an agent asked McCabe,
The agent then described his response: “And as nice as could be, he said, ‘Yep. Yep I did.’”
The investigator then said that “things had suddenly changed 180 degrees with this” after McCabe’s admission, which turned his initial denials into a potential crime.
“In our business, we stop and say, look, now we’re getting into an area for due process,” the agent said.
“I was very careful to say… with all due respect, this is what you told us. This has caused us some kind of, you know, sidetracking here now with some information other people have told us,” the agent said, growing increasingly frustrated.
“I remember saying to him, at, I said, ‘Sir, you understand that we’ve put a lot of work into this based on what you told us,’” the agent said.
“I mean, and I even said, long nights and weekends working on this, trying to find out who amongst your ranks of trusted people would, would do something like that.’ And he kind of just looked down, kind of nodded, and said ‘Yeah I’m sorry.”
The Justice Department’s inspector general blasted McCabe in April for misleading investigators, but did not include the transcripts in his report.
McCabe’s lawyer has said his story changed because in the first interview he wasn’t prepared for the question, and that he was soon distracted by President Trump’s firing of FBI chief James Comey, whom McCabe replaced as acting director.