The OIG report on former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is devastating to the “small group” and not just for what it outlines, but also for what it doesn’t provide.
There are bound to be multiple reports and discussions which will flow from an outcome of the content therein. However, here’s some of the ‘big picture’ takeaways for those who have followed the very granular details.
One of the more pertinent issues – it is now demonstrably proven that Andrew McCabe lied to FBI investigators, on several occasions, and also that he lied to the Inspector General. Note the criminally important factor here is: “lied to FBI investigators”.
On page #29, there’s some very specific and interesting details that deserve to be highlighted (emphasis mine).
We concluded that McCabe lacked candor during his OIG audio-recorded interview under oath on July 28, 2017, when he falsely stated that: (a) he was not aware of Special Counsel being authorized to speak to reporters around October 30 and (b) he did not know, because he was out of town, “where [Special Counsel] was or what she was doing” during the relevant time period. (pdf link)
It is not just the next few paragraphs that outline the scope of the attempted duplicity and fraud by McCabe, but also the footnotes.
Remember, we know specifically from congressional evidence, provided by the FBI investigative unit, the FBI took custody of the initial batch of text message between DOJ-FBI Special Counsel Lisa Page and Peter Strzok on July 22nd, 2017. It is clear those text messages were provided by Lisa Page to clear up the contradiction between her truthful statements and the lies told earlier by Andrew McCabe.
The first IG interview with McCabe takes place on July 28th, after McCabe speaks to FBI investigators and before the IG has an opportunity to understand the evidence provided by Lisa Page proving the false statements. The footnotes here are important (emphasis mine):
[Footnote #14 – Page 20] In response to review a draft of this report, counsel for McCabe argued that, in asking McCabe about the October 27-30 texts between Special Counsel and DAD regarding the WSJ article, the OIG engaged in improper and unethical conduct, and violated an allegedly explicit agreement with McCabe that when he was interviewed by the OIG on July 28 he would not be questioned outside the presence of counsel with respect to matters for which he was being investigated.
McCabe provides no evidence in support of his claim, and based on the OIG’s review of the available evidence, including the transcript of McCabe’s recorded OIG interview on July 28 and the OIG’s contemporaneous notes, as described below, McCabe’s claim is contradicted by the investigative record.
As an initial matter, at the time of the July 28 interview, McCabe was not a subject of an OIG investigation of disclosures in the October 30 WSJ article, nor did the OIG suspect him of having been the source of an unauthorized disclosure of non-public information related to that article.
The OIG did not open its investigation of McCabe concerning the WSJ article until August 31, after being informed by INSD that McCabe had provided INSD agents with information on August 18, 2017, that contradicted the information that he had provided to INSD agents on May 9.
Second, the OIG has no record that McCabe stated in advance of the July 28 interview that he was represented by counsel. Moreover, the recording of the July 28 interview shows that at no time did McCabe give any indication that he was represented by counsel. The transcript of the interview shows that the OIG informed McCabe, who has a law degree, that the interview was about “issues raised by the text messages” between Special Counsel and DAD, and that the OIG would not be asking McCabe questions about “other issues related to your recusal in the McAulliffe investigation . . . or any issues related to that.” McCabe responded “Okay” and did not articulate or request any further limitations on the questions he would answer.
The OIG added that “This is a voluntary interview. What that means is that if you don’t want to answer a question, that’s fully within your rights.” That “will not be held against you . . . .” The recording of McCabe’s interview further demonstrates that the OIG was entirely solicitous of McCabe’s requests not to respond to certain questions.
Towards the end of the interview, before beginning an area of questioning unrelated to Special Counsel/DAD texts or the WSJ article, the OIG prefaced his question to McCabe by stating “if you feel this is connected to the things that are making you uncomfortable, will you let me know?” McCabe responded, “Yes. Yeah, you can ask, I’ll let you . . . If I don’t feel comfortable going forward, I’ll let you know.”
At a later point in the interview, after answering a number of questions unrelated to Special Counsel/DAD texts, McCabe expressed a preference for not answering further questions, and the OIG did not ask further questions on the topic.
Third, McCabe’s submission mischaracterizes an October 4, 2017, email exchange with the OIG as evidencing that at the time of McCabe’s July 28 OIG interview, McCabe was the subject of an OIG leak investigation. As noted above, the OIG did not know about McCabe’s involvement in the disclosure to the WSJ at the time of the July 28 interview, and only opened an investigation into his actions related to that disclosure on August 31, 2017, after the lack of candor referral to the OIG by INSD.
Lastly, despite having been questioned at length by the OIG on November 29, 2017, about the reasons for his false statements to the OIG on July 28, McCabe never once raised any of these issues. Moreover, the same counsel who submitted on behalf of McCabe these accusations of impropriety by the OIG was present for the entire OIG interview on November 29 yet never once raised any of these issues.
McCabe had every incentive to raise these issues as early as possible, and surely on November 29, when he was represented by counsel and was asked pointed questions by the OIG about his July 28 testimony denying that Special Counsel had been authorized to speak to reporters during that time period. McCabe did not do so until nearly 7 months after the July 28 interview and nearly 3 months after the November 29 interview.
That’s a long footnote that essentially outlines the timeline of events; and effectively eliminates any affirmative defense that McCabe might attempt.
However, more importantly, note the fact the interview was recorded and transcribed…. because that leads to the more glaring point missing from the actual IG report. There is no accompanying addendum containing the transcript or the recording. Why not?
Answer: Because the transcript and recording of the interview(s) with McCabe are now evidence for a criminal prosecution.
If Horowitz’s federal prosecutor, John Huber, was not going to criminally charge Andrew McCabe for lying we would have seen the transcript. The absence of the transcript, and the intentional notation of the recordings by the OIG, indicate McCabe will almost certainly be charged. The evidence is overwhelming.
Lastly, the release of this IG report is affirming our prior expectations. There will be several releases of individual components within the larger OIG investigation. This is only the first release, and only covers one specific issue of Andrew McCabe directing leaks to the media and then lying about it to FBI investigators.
Each of these aspects is an investigation unto itself, and will likely result in a stand-alone report:
√•Unlawful and coordinated media leaks – Part I (McCabe);
√•False statements to investigators about unauthorized media leaks – Part I;
•Clinton email, manipulated investigations with predetermined outcomes;
•False testimony to FBI, congress and under oath to IG (Comey/McCabe);
•Manipulated FBI 302 reports, and/or false presentation of documents;
•Willful political corruption by Asst. Director Andrew McCabe; Director Comey etc.
•Unlawful use of FBI and NSD databases;
•Political issues within Main Justice DOJ-NSD (Carlin, McCord, Ohr, Yates);
•Issues with the FISA court; •false presentations; •source material (Steele Dossier);
•State Department involvement. •unmasking. •origination of counterintelligence op.
The issues being investigated by the OIG are massive and complex. That’s why it would be beneficial to carve-out the FISA court aspects, declassify the content, and allow those inquiries to proceed independent of the IG and federal prosecutor John Huber.