Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe acknowledged in a March 23 op-ed he gave “not fully accurate” information to Justice Department investigators. But the recently fired FBI official defended himself, saying he was “confused and distracted” amid the political “chaos” surrounding him.
“I have been accused of ‘lack of candor.’ That is not true,” McCabe wrote in The Washington Post.
“I did not knowingly mislead or lie to investigators.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe March 16 — just two days before he was set to retire from the bureau. Sessions made the decision based on the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility’s recommendation McCabe be fired for “lack of candor” during interviews with the Justice Department’s office of the inspector general (OIG).
McCabe spoke to OIG investigators as part of an investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton e-mail probe. Investigators found McCabe authorized a subordinate to speak to The Wall Street Journal for an article published in October 2016.
McCabe’s position allowed him to interact with the press, but investigators with the inspector general’s office determined he was less than forthcoming during the interviews.
McCabe defended his actions in the op-ed, saying he was authorized to communicate with the press and did not knowingly mislead investigators.
“When asked about contacts with a reporter that were fully within my power to authorize as deputy director, and amid the chaos that surrounded me, I answered questions as completely and accurately as I could,” McCabe wrote.
But McCabe acknowledged his answers were not completely accurate.
“And when I realized that some of my answers were not fully accurate or may have been misunderstood, I took the initiative to correct them,” he wrote.
“At worst, I was not clear in my responses, and because of what was going on around me may well have been confused and distracted — and for that, I take full responsibility. But that is not a lack of candor.”