A Justice Department report accuses fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe of lacking candor and misleading investigators.
The report by the Justice Department inspector general’s office claims that McCabe misled investigators about his role in a news media disclosure about presidential candidate Hillary Clinton just days before the 2016 election.
McCabe was fired last month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the recommendation of FBI officials who had knowledge of the inspector general’s findings.
The report, released to lawmakers and the public Friday, alleges that McCabe authorized FBI officials to speak with a Wall Street Journal reporter about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. It said McCabe later misled FBI officials when questioned about his actions.
McCabe denies misleading investigators.
McCabe says when he believed his answers to the inspector general were misunderstood, he went back and tried to correct them. His lawyer says the inspector general unfairly tried to conclude its work before McCabe could retire with a full pension.
In a statement Friday, an attorney for McCabe disputed the Justice Department findings and said the rush to fire him was “unprecedented, unseemly and cruel.”
McCabe was fired two days before he was planning to retire, potentially denying him part or all of his pension.
McCabe is close to former FBI director James Comey, who was fired by Trump in May 2017. McCabe has called his firing “retribution” and said he was singled out because of the “role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath” of Comey’s firing.
Trump has publicly criticized McCabe for “lies and corruption” and wrote on Twitter that his firing was a “great day for Democracy.”
On Friday, Trump tweeted that “McCabe was totally controlled by Comey” and that the investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and whether there was collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia was “made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!”
McCabe has fired back, saying his dismissal was part of the Trump administration’s “ongoing war” on the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Mueller, who was appointed after Comey was fired, is investigating whether Russia attempted to meddle in the election. He also is investigating whether Trump’s actions, including firing Comey, constitute obstruction of justice.
Some information is this report was provided by The Associated Press.