House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) fired off a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday demanding that the Department of Justice investigate allegations that a “very pissed off” Obama administration official called then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, allegedly pressuring him to shut down the FBI’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
According to the account contained within an official report by the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), McCabe was rattled by the call – reportedly made by senior Obama DOJ official Mattnew Axelrod and pushed back.
“According to McCabe, he pushed back, asking ‘are you telling me that I need to shut down a validly predicated investigation?’” the report said. “McCabe told us that the conversation was ‘very dramatic’ and he never had a similar confrontation like the PADAG call with a high-level department official in his entire FBI career.”
During the aforementioned phone call, the IG report recounts that the PADAG called Mr. McCabe and “expressed concerns about FBI agents taking overt steps in the CF [Clinton Foundation] Investigation during the presidential campaign.” This corresponds to reporting by the Wall Street Journal which detailed, “a senior Justice Department official called Mr. McCabe to voice his displeasure at finding that New York FBI agents were still openly pursuing the Clinton Foundation probe during the election season…. The Justice Department official was ‘very pissed off,’ according to one person close to McCabe, and pressed him to explain why the FBI was still chasing a matter the department considered dormant.” –Bob Goodlatte to Jeff Sessions
Goodlatte notes that Axelrod was “inquiring into why the FBI was pursuing a case against the Clinton Foundation during the election, and at worst, attempting to improperly and illegally influence the status of an ongoing investigation for purely partisan purposes.”
“It is important to determine whether the PADAG’s directions to Mr. McCabe resulted in any “stand down” order being given to agents in these offices,” the letter reads.
Goodlatte’s letter also suggests that while McCabe was fired for “behaving in a matter unworthy of a public servant and, in particular, and FBI agent,” that he may have been under “undue pressure and influence asserted by the Department – and possibly even higher levels of the U.S. government during the Obama Administration – to ensure that a validly predicated investigation of the Clinton Foundation was terminated.”
McCabe was fired on March 16 after the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that he “had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor – including under oath – on multiple occasions.”
Specifically, McCabe allegedly authorized an F.B.I. spokesman and attorney to tell Devlin Barrett of the Wall St. Journal, just days before the 2016 election, that the FBI had not put the brakes on the Clinton Foundation investigation – right around the time McCabe was coming under fire for his wife taking a $467,500 campaign contribution from Clinton
proxy pal, Terry McAuliffe.
Meanwhile, McCabe and former FBI Director James Comey are setting up for quite the battle over whether or not Comey knew of the leaks. While peddling his book on ABC’s The View, Comey called McCabe a liar – and admitted that he ordered the IG report that found him guilty of leaking to the press.
Comey was asked by host Megan McCain how he thought the public was supposed to have “confidence” in the FBI amid revelations that McCabe lied about the leak.
“It’s not okay. The McCabe case illustrates what an organization committed to the truth looks like,” Comey said. “I ordered that investigation.”
Comey then appeared to try and frame McCabe as a “good person” despite all the lying.
“Good people lie. I think I’m a good person, where I have lied,” Comey said. “I still believe Andrew McCabe is a good person but the inspector general found he lied,” noting that there are “severe consequences” within the DOJ for doing so.
Goodlatte’s letter to Sessions can be read below: