The Justice Department’s internal watchdog has been investigating former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for apparently sitting on emails obtained from Anthony Weiner’s laptop, the Washington Post‘s Devlin Barrett and Karoun Demirjian reported Tuesday (of note, Barrett was recently outed as a potential source of FBI leaks, according to text messages between FBI employees accused of political bias)
The DOJ Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, wants to know why McCabe allegedly took little to no action for approximately three weeks on the trove of emails sent by Hillary’s top aide, Huma Abedin – Weiner’s wife, which were discovered during an unrelated investigation into Weiner “sexting” with an underage girl.
The inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, has been asking witnesses why FBI leadership seemed unwilling to move forward on the examination of emails found on the laptop of former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) until late October about three weeks after first being alerted to the issue, according to these people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter.
A key question of the internal investigation is whether McCabe or anyone else at the FBI wanted to avoid taking action on the laptop findings until after the Nov. 8 election, these people said. It is unclear whether the inspector general has reached any conclusions on that point. –WaPo
In late September 2016, approximately five weeks before the US election, thousands of Huma Abedin’s work-related emails were found on Weiner’s laptop. According to WaPo, the New York FBI office alerted FBI headquarters within days – though accounts as to the exact date vary.
Either way, McCabe was made aware of the matter by late September or early October, as the NY field office agents wanted to discuss the issue with DC Clinton email investigators to compare notes. According to people familiar with the matter, officials at FBI headquarters requested the emails’ metadata – which include the sender, recipient and timestamp.
While McCabe is said to have been involved in those discussions, accounts vary as to how much then-FBI Director James Comey knew of the situation.
Some people involved at the time said Comey learned of the issue around the same time as McCabe. Others contend Comey did not know about it until weeks later. Senior Justice Department officials, according to several people familiar with the issue, were not notified until mid-October.
But for a period of at least three weeks, according to people involved at the time, nothing much happened a lag that has sparked the inspector generals questions. –WaPo
McCabe announced his departure from the FBI on Monday following a meeting with FBI Director Christopher Wray, in which they reportedly discussed the Inspector General’s investigation.
McCabe had previously announced a March retirement. Several media outlets reported that McCabe is using his remaining vacation days to go on “terminal leave” and that his official retirement from the agency won’t happen until March, allowing him to collect the full pension.
Also notable is that Wray was reportedly “shocked to his core” Sunday night after viewing a four-page confidential FISA memo said to detail egregious surveillance abuses by McCabe’s team. The next day, McCabe was forced to step down.
Hannity sat down once again with journalist Sara Carter this week, whose sources say McCabe may have also instructed FBI agents to alter their “302” forms – the paperwork an agent files after interviewing someone:
Shocked him to his core, and not only that, the Inspector General’s report – I have been told tonight by a number of sources, there’s indicators right now that McCabe may have asked FBI agents to actually change their 302’s – those are their interviews with witnesses. So basically every time an FBI agent interviews a witness, they have to go back and file a report.
If the reports from Sara Carter and the Washington Post’s ever-connected Devlin Barrett are true, McCabe not only sat on the Weiner laptop emails related to the Hillary Clinton email investigation – but also asked FBI agents to commit crimes by altering paperwork.
Or, as Sarah Westwood summarizes, this report suggests:
- McCabe tried to stall probe of Weiner laptop emails til after the election
- McCabe’s colleagues got suspicious about the delay
- Comey sent 11th-hour letter that reopened the probe in order to correct for McCabe’s perceived bias
Further pointing towards evidence of political bias is an October, 2016 Wall St. Journal article which reported that McCabe’s wife received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from close Clinton ally, then-Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe for her failed run at VA state legislature.
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