Former FBI Director Andrew McCabe is locked in a battle of “he said-he said” with his former boss, James Comey, over the findings of a damning report from the Justice Department’s office of the inspector general (OIG).
McCabe’s lawyer, Michael Bromwich, issued a statement on Wednesday casting doubt on Comey and the OIG’s report, which was released April 13.
“The report fails to adequately address the evidence (including sworn testimony) and documents that prove that Mr. McCabe advised Director Comey repeatedly that he was working with The Wall Street Journal on the stories in question prior to publication,” Bromwich said in a statement CNN published.
“Neither Mr. Comey nor the OIG is infallible, and in this case, neither of them has it right.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Comey confirmed he ordered the opening of the inspector general’s investigation that uncovered McCabe’s involvement in a leak to The Wall Street Journal for an article published just before the 2016 election.
The office of the inspector general, led by Michael Horowitz, accused McCabe of a “lack of candor” during interviews with investigators about the leak. McCabe lied about authorizing the leak on at least four separate occasions — in interviews with OIG investigators, interviews with the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), and in conversations with Comey, investigators determined.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe on March 16 based on a recommendation from OPR.
McCabe has acknowledging authorizing his general counsel and an official in the FBI’s office of public affairs to speak with a Journal reporter for an article about the various investigations into Hillary Clinton. The bureau was investigating the Clinton Foundation, the FBI attorney revealed for the first time to The Journal.
As FBI No. 2, McCabe was authorized to reveal the existence of investigations if it served the public interest, but McCabe authorized the leak “in a manner designed to advance his personal interests at the expense of Department leadership,” the OIG determined.
Though McCabe authorized the leaks to The Journal, he admonished two FBI officials over the leaks, the report also reveals.
McCabe informed Comey he was authorizing a subordinate to speak with the Journal, the former FBI director told the OIG. McCabe has email exchanges supportorting that claim, Michael Bromwich, McCabe’s attorney, said.
Comey has told a different story.
McCabe “definitely did not tell me that he authorized” the leak, Comey told OIG investigators, according to the OIG report.
“I don’t remember exactly how, but I remember some form or fashion, and it could have been like ‘can you believe this crap? How does this stuff get out’ kind of thing?” Comey said in the interview, adding he “took from whatever communication we had that he wasn’t involved in it.”
Comey offered a scathing rebuke of McCabe on Thursday, during an appearance on ABC’s “The View.”
“It’s not okay. The McCabe case illustrates what an organization committed to the truth looks like,” Comey said and added, “I ordered that investigation.”
“Good people lie. I think I’m a good person, where I have lied,” he continued. “I still believe Andrew McCabe is a good person, but the inspector general found he lied.”
Comey’s damning statements about McCabe would seem to contradict support he offered his former subordinate in a tweet on Jan. 29, 2018.
“Special Agent Andrew McCabe stood tall over the last 8 months, when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on. He served with distinction for two decades. I wish Andy well. I also wish continued strength for the rest of the FBI. America needs you,” Comey tweeted in response to comments that President Trump made about McCabe earlier that day.
Special Agent Andrew McCabe stood tall over the last 8 months, when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on. He served with distinction for two decades. I wish Andy well. I also wish continued strength for the rest of the FBI. America needs you.
— James Comey (@Comey) January 30, 2018