Lazy Saturday Reads: St. Patrick’s Day EditionPosted: March 17, 2018
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to those who celebrate it.
Judging by his surname, Andrew McCabe is probably part Irish, but he’s most likely spending the day preparing to defend himself against the wannabe tin-pot dictator we’re stuck with thanks to Vladimir Putin and millions of ignorant white people who get their “information” from Fox News, InfoWars, and Russian trolls. I imagine McCabe is already thinking about writing a book like his former boss James Comey.
The New York Times: Andrew McCabe, a Target of Trump’s F.B.I. Scorn, Is Fired Over Candor Questions.
Andrew G. McCabe, the former F.B.I. deputy director and a frequent target of President Trump’s scorn, was fired Friday after Attorney General Jeff Sessions rejected an appeal that would have let him retire this weekend.
Mr. McCabe promptly declared that his firing, and Mr. Trump’s persistent needling, were intended to undermine the special counsel’s investigation in which he is a potential witness.
Mr. McCabe is accused in a yet-to-be-released internal report of failing to be forthcoming about a conversation he authorized between F.B.I. officials and a journalist.
In a statement released late Friday, Mr. Sessions said that Mr. McCabe had shown a lack of candor under oath on multiple occasions.
Anyone with half a brain knows that this was a political firing, ordered by Trump.
Mr. McCabe was among the first at the F.B.I. to scrutinize possible Trump campaign ties to Russia. And he is a potential witness to the question of whether Mr. Trump tried to obstruct justice. Mr. Trump has taunted Mr. McCabe both publicly and privately, and Republican allies have cast him as the center of a “deep state” effort to undermine the Trump presidency.
As a witness, Mr. McCabe would be in a position to corroborate the testimony of the former F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, who kept contemporaneous notes on his conversations with Mr. Trump. Mr. Comey said Mr. Trump prodded him to publicly exonerate the president on the question of Russian collusion and encouraged him to shut down an investigation into his national security adviser.
Trump revealed his complicity in getting McCabe fired just before he could have retired with a full pension after more than 20 years in the FBI.
Michael R. Bromwich, McCabe’s attorney, said that he had “never before seen the type of rush to judgment — and rush to summary punishment — that we have witnessed in this case.” He cited in particular President Trump’s attacks on McCabe on Twitter and the White House press secretary’s comments about him on Thursday — which he said were “quite clearly designed to put inappropriate pressure on the Attorney General to act accordingly.”
“This intervention by the White House in the DOJ disciplinary process is unprecedented, deeply unfair, and dangerous,” Bromwich said.
McCabe has become a lightning rod in the political battles over the FBI’s most high-profile cases, including the Russia investigation and the probe of Hillary Clinton’s email practices. He has been a frequent target of criticism from Trump.
Read McCabe’s full statement on his firing at HuffPost: Andrew McCabe’s Response To Being Fired Two Days Before His Retirement. An excerpt:
I have been an FBI Special Agent for over 21 years. I spent half of that time investigating Russian Organized Crime as a street agent and Supervisor in New York City. I have spent the second half of my career focusing on national security issues and protecting this country from terrorism. I served in some of the most challenging, demanding investigative and leadership roles in the FBI. And I was privileged to serve as Deputy Director during a particularly tough time.
For the last year and a half, my family and I have been the targets of an unrelenting assault on our reputation and my service to this country. Articles too numerous to count have leveled every sort of false, defamatory and degrading allegation against us. The President’s tweets have amplified and exacerbated it all. He called for my firing. He called for me to be stripped of my pension after more than 20 years of service. And all along we have said nothing, never wanting to distract from the mission of the FBI by addressing the lies told and repeated about us.
The investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has to be understood in the context of the attacks on my credibility. The investigation flows from my attempt to explain the FBI’s involvement and my supervision of investigations involving Hillary Clinton. I was being portrayed in the media over and over as a political partisan, accused of closing down investigations under political pressure. The FBI was portrayed as caving under that pressure, and making decisions for political rather than law enforcement purposes. Nothing was further from the truth. In fact, this entire investigation stems from my efforts, fully authorized under FBI rules, to set the record straight on behalf of the Bureau, and to make clear that we were continuing an investigation that people in DOJ opposed.
Read the rest at HuffPost.
Some notable Twitter responses: to Trump’s tweet:
FBI Director James Comey and the three colleagues he told about Trump’s efforts to obstruct the Russia investigation have either been fired or reassigned. Business Insider:
Former FBI director James Comey told three top FBI officials about conversations he had with President Donald Trump before he was fired last May. All three officials have since been forced out of the bureau, or reassigned within it….
Comey told former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe; his chief of staff, James Rybicki; and FBI general counsel James Baker about his conversations with Trump.
McCabe was fired on Friday, one day before he was set to retire. His firing came amid an internal investigation into his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, which found that he made unauthorized disclosures to the media about the probe while it was ongoing….
Rybicki [was] resigned from the FBI in late January to accept a job in the corporate sector.
He became a target of Republican criticism for his role in helping craft a memo that exonerated Hillary Clinton in the investigation into her use of a private email server as secretary of state. He answered questions from members of the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees earlier in January concerning his work on the Clinton investigation and on Comey’s claims that Trump asked him to pledge his loyalty before firing him in May 2017…
In January Foreign Policy reported that Trump ordered a smear campaign against people in the FBI who could testify against him in Mueller’s probe: Trump Launched Campaign to Discredit Potential FBI Witnesses.
President Donald Trump pressed senior aides last June to devise and carry out a campaign to discredit senior FBI officials after learning that those specific employees were likely to be witnesses against him as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, according to two people directly familiar with the matter.
In testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, recently fired FBI Director James Comey disclosed that he spoke contemporaneously with other senior bureau officials about potentially improper efforts by the president to curtail the FBI’s investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Mueller is investigating whether Trump’s efforts constituted obstruction of justice.
Not long after Comey’s Senate testimony, Trump hired John Dowd, a veteran criminal defense attorney, to represent him in matters related to Mueller’s investigation. Dowd warned Trump that the potential corroborative testimony of the senior FBI officials in Comey’s account would likely play a central role in the special counsel’s final conclusion, according to people familiar with the matter.
In discussions with at least two senior White House officials, Trump repeated what Dowd had told him to emphasize why he and his supporters had to “fight back harder,” in the words of one of these officials.
Click on the link to read the rest.
This morning Dowd called for the Special Counsel’s investigation to be shut down. The Daily Beast:
President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, told The Daily Beast on Saturday morning that he hopes Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will shut down the Mueller probe.
Reached for comment by email about the firing of former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, sent The Daily Beast the text of Trump’s most recent tweet on the subject, which applauded the firing. Then he wrote that Rosenstein should follow Sessions’ lead.
“I pray that Acting Attorney General Rosenstein will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and bring an end to alleged Russia Collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe’s boss James Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt Dossier,” Dowd then wrote.
He told The Daily Beast he was speaking on behalf of the president, in his capacity as the president’s attorney.
Dowd also emailed the text below, which is an annotated version of a line from a well-known 20th century play:
“What’s that smell in this room[Bureau}? Didn’t you notice it, Brick [Jim]? Didn’t you notice a powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room[Bureau}?… There ain’t nothin’ more powerful than the odor of mendacity[corruption]… You can smell it. It smells like death.” Tennessee Williams — ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’
More stories to check out:
The Washington Post: Could getting Andrew McCabe fired come back to bite Trump?
The Washington Post: Facebook bans Trump campaign’s data analytics firm for taking user data.
Paul Rosenzweig at Lawfare: The Trump Malignancy and the Book That Will Not Be Written.
New York Daily News: Infamous hacker who gave up whistleblower Chelsea Manning to the FBI dies in Kansas.
What stories are you following today?