Ousted FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe improperly leaked information to a reporter and then lied to both his boss, then-Director James Comey, and to FBI agents investigating his behavior, the Justice Department inspector general said Friday.
He was under oath when he lied to the FBI agents, the inspector general said in a lengthy new report that could prove devastating to Mr. McCabe’s credibility.The report, which had been circulating inside the government for weeks, was used to justify Mr. McCabe’s firing earlier this year, just days before he was to take retirement and collect his pension.
“He LIED! LIED! LIED!” President Trump tweeted. “McCabe was totally controlled by Comey - McCabe is Comey!! No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!”
He called McCabe’s actions “a total disaster.”
The inspector general said Mr. McCabe authorized leaks to a Wall Street Journal reporter when he was trying to shape the narrative surrounding his role in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s secret emails.
Investigators said the 2016 leak confirmed the existence of an investigation into the Clinton Foundation — a probe the FBI had studiously avoided confirming. The leak was inappropriate because it was done “to advance his personal interests,” the audit found.
He then lied to Mr. Comey, then to FBI agents and the inspector general in May and July 2017. In a follow-up interview late last year he “contradicted his prior statements,” the audit concluded.
“The OIG found that then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lacked candor, including under oath, on multiple occasions in connection with describing his role in connection with a disclosure to the WSJ, and that this conduct violated FBI Offense Codes 2.5 and 2.6,” the audit concluded.
“The OIG also concluded that McCabe’s disclosure of the existence of an ongoing investigation in the manner described in this report violated the FBI’s and the Department’s media policy and constituted misconduct.”
Investigators said they were cognizant Mr. McCabe’s leaks were likely meant to counter opposition leaks from within the FBI, but they said that wasn’t a reason to leak.