Chuck Ross on October 25, 2019
CNN interviewed Andrew McCabe on Friday about developments in a Justice Department criminal investigation of the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, but the network failed to disclose that the former FBI deputy director is suing the Justice Department and is under criminal investigation himself.
Interviewed by CNN’s Jim Sciutto, McCabe, a CNN analyst, was largely critical of the investigation, which is being led by John Durham, a U.S. attorney in Connecticut, and overseen by Attorney General William Barr.
Durham’s investigation has recently shifted from an administrative review of U.S. intelligence activities related to the Trump campaign to a full-blown criminal investigation.
Sciutto noted at the top of his interview with McCabe that the former FBI official could very well be a target of the Durham probe.
But neither Sciutto nor McCabe disclosed during the interview that McCabe is under investigation for making false statements to the FBI and Justice Department regarding his authorization of leaks to the media in October 2016.
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CNN hired McCabe as a law enforcement analyst on Aug. 23. He sued the Justice Department and FBI on Aug. 8 for wrongful termination over his firing on March 16, 2018. The Justice Department’s office of the inspector general recommended that McCabe be fired because he displayed a “lack of candor” in four interviews about his authorization of leaks to the media.
McCabe has denied wrongdoing.
McCabe defended the FBI’s activities in the early days of the Trump-Russia investigation and said that he is not concerned that he is a target of the criminal portion of the Durham probe.
“Is it your concern that that investigation is now targeting you and your work?” Sciutto asked.
“No,” said McCabe.
“Here’s my concern, Jim. So, if the investigation is conducted with integrity, with impartiality, if there aren’t preconceived theories or judgments brought into it, then I have no concerns about it whatsoever, whether it’s an internal investigation or conducted as a criminal probe.”
“I know, because I was there, I was in the room when these decisions were made, I worked with the team that opened and initiated these cases, approved their work — I know that nothing improper was done.”
The FBI during McCabe’s tenure investigated whether the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election. Investigators relied heavily on the infamous but unverified Steele dossier to obtain surveillance warrants against Trump aide Carter Page.
The FBI’s handling of the dossier is the subject of a Justice Department inspector general’s report that is expected to be released soon.
McCabe criticized Barr and President Trump in his interview with Sciutto, saying that the public “should be very concerned” that they have questioned the FBI’s handling of the Russia investigation.
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