One of the great political mysteries of the last few weeks involves what has happened to the possible criminal indictment of former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who is accused of having made false statements regarding his role in certain leaks to the media relating to the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal.
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We don’t know what happened before the grand jury this week in Andrew McCabe’s case. But the Justice Department knows whether grand jurors just told them to stand down.
The only factor militating toward charging the former FBI deputy director is a sustained campaign of presidential agitation for his scalp.
The former acting FBI director’s account doesn’t change the fundamentals of the story, but it puts a lot of flesh on the bones.
The Justice Department Inspector General’s report on Andrew McCabe, the fired Deputy Director of the FBI, is as scathing as press reports say. According to the Inspector General, McCabe leaked dirt on the Justice Department, then misled FBI Director James Comey about the source of the leak, then misled leak investigators over and over again. It’s hard to read the report and feel that McCabe’s firing wasn’t earned. And yet, for all that, there’s a bit of low tragedy in McCabe’s tale.
Summary: Office of Inspector General Report on Andrew McCabe’s Firing and Response by McCabe's Lawyer
On March 16, Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe hours before McCabe's retirement, allegedly for showing a lack of candor under oath.
Anyone who is confidently pronouncing on the merits of Andrew McCabe’s firing Friday night is venturing well beyond the realm of known facts.
On Jan. 29, Benjamin Wittes asked for “actual evidence” that Andrew McCabe “has done something inappropriate.” We’ll know more when the inspector general report becomes public, but I think there are at least two steps taken by McCabe that cast doubt on his judgment. That doesn’t mean that all the White House and Congressional attacks on the FBI are justified, simply that we ought to delay McCabe’s canonization until the facts are in.
News that the FBI’s embattled deputy director, Andrew McCabe, is stepping down broke suddenly today. McCabe has long planned to retire in March, and until recently, FBI Director Chris Wray has protected McCabe, resisting pressure to remove him prematurely. That all changed, however, in recent days—apparently because of something in a forthcoming inspector general report. As the New York Times describes it:
The defense of democratic institutions, norms, values and culture does not always involve standing up for people who have acted heroically. Stories feel better, of course, when it does—when honor goes to those to whom people rally because they have behaved admirably; when the music swells in our minds and it all feels like a screenplay. But democracies don’t function like neatly-ending screenplays. The characters on whom democracies depend may perform erratically; citizens may not fully understand their conduct or motives; people may not trust them.