Tuesday, March 20, 2018

McCabe earned being fired, and things are getting more interesting

In late January FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe announced that he was resigning his position effective March 18, after being removed as deputy to Director Christopher Wray after Wray was appointed to the position that was previously held by Jim Comey. McCabe has had a dark cloud hanging over him for a while, and last Friday Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired him before his resignation took effect, denying McCabe his retirement benefits.

Sessions released a statement, saying, "Pursuant to Department Order 1202, and based on the report of the Inspector General [IG], the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility [OPR], and the recommendation of the Department’s senior career official, I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately."

“McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor including under oath on multiple occasions,” Sessions continued. "The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability. As the OPR proposal stated, 'all FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal and that our integrity is our brand,'" he said.

Reportedly, the IG report was based on statements McCabe made to his own agency that were not true, lies told to the agency of which he was second in command.

In response to his firing, McCabe said, "This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally.” Apparently, McCabe has been studying Hillary Clinton’s technique of blaming everything and everyone in the world for her problems, instead of herself.

McCabe might just continue to follow the Clinton Blame Motif and shift blame to the Russians, to Donald Trump, or even the dreaded Evil Unicorn, as things progress.

The tainting of the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals to which McCabe referred is a too-broad statement to begin with, but it has been clearly shown that people in the upper echelons of the FBI are the ones who have done the tainting, and not to all of the FBI, just the echelons they inhabit.

McCabe has single-handedly ruined his professional career, a man who rose to the number two position at the agency, and who was, as reported by Fox News, on Trump’s short list for the directorship.

Do his comments following his firing add weight to allegations of his anti-Trump behavior as FBI deputy director? Perhaps. Is it also a similar sign that Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) has offered McCabe a job, and if he takes it would extend his federal government service for at least long enough to restore his retirement benefits? Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) is reportedly also interested in hiring McCabe.

The interest of these lawmakers fits into the Republican narrative and criticism of McCabe as being too closely tied to the Democrats. Among the items on the Republican list is that McCabe’s wife received campaign donations for a 2015 Virginia Senate run from Clinton ally and former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, even as the Clinton email probe was underway by the FBI. That should have caused McCabe to recuse himself from the Clinton probe.

McCabe is also a central figure in the matter of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses connected to the Russian collusion probe. He is said to have signed a FISA warrant that targeted former Trump campaign volunteer adviser Carter Page.

McCabe testified before a congressional committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISA court without the Steele dossier information. The Steele dossier was unverified, and financed as opposition research by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.

The Hill reported on Saturday, “McCabe is accused of misleading investigators about allegedly giving information to a former Wall Street Journal reporter about the investigation of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton family’s charitable foundation. McCabe asserts in his post-firing statement that he not only had authority to ‘share’ that information to the media, but also did so with the knowledge of ‘the director.’ The FBI director at the time was Jim Comey.”

“I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor,” McCabe said. “As deputy director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter.”

So, McCabe’s comment directly contradicts Comey’s congressional testimony last May. When asked if he had “ever been an anonymous source in news reports about matters relating to the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation,” or if he had “ever authorized someone else at the FBI to be an anonymous source in news reports about the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation,” Comey replied “never” and “no,” respectively.

The upper echelons of the FBI appear to contain an Office of Duplicity staffed by, in addition to McCabe, FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strozk, FBI attorney Lisa Page, and other fellow travelers that allowed politics to trump their integrity.

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