Disgraced former FBI official Andrew McCabe provided legal analysis on CNN Friday morning of ongoing investigations into former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz.
Unmentioned in McCabe’s “New Day” segment was that he was fired by the FBI in 2018 for lying to government officials about his authorization of leaks to the media. Federal prosecutors also opened a grand jury investigation into whether McCabe made false statements to FBI and Justice Department officials about the leaks.
The FBI raided Giuliani’s apartment in New York City this week as part of an investigation into whether he violated foreign agent laws through his Ukraine-related work in 2019 and 2020. Federal prosecutors are reportedly looking into whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with an underage girl.
Both Giuliani and Gaetz have denied any wrongdoing and have both said they are being targeted for political reasons.
McCabe addressed reports that the FBI gave so-called defensive briefings to Giuliani and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson in late 2019 about Russia’s efforts to sow disinformation about Joe Biden.
McCabe called the briefing “a big deal,” saying that it shows that the FBI had “a significant amount of information” that Russia was using Giuliani to disseminate information about Biden.
McCabe said that the FBI often observes the recipients of the defensive briefing to see how they respond to the information.
“If you cut off your interactions with them, that’s a good sign. If you continue to interact with them, which we know Rudy Giuliani did here, that’s a very bad sign,” McCabe said.
“You now are acting with these foreign agents and you are aware of the fact that the U.S. Government thinks they are hostile intelligence agents. That is very serious.”
McCabe, who was hired as a law enforcement analyst by CNN in 2019, was fired from the FBI in March 2018 after the Justice Department’s office of the inspector general (IG) found that he lied to the office and to the FBI about his role in a leak to The Wall Street Journal.
The IG found that McCabe falsely denied that he did not authorize an aide to share information with The Journal about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, D.C. empaneled a grand jury to seek charges against McCabe for making false statements to government officials, but the investigation was closed in February 2020 without any charges being brought.
McCabe was also a key player in the FBI’s unlawful surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
The Justice Department inspector general found that the FBI made 17 “significant” errors and omissions in applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain warrants against Page.
The bureau relied heavily on the unverified Steele dossier in its investigation of the Trump campaign, as well as in its application for the spy warrants.
McCabe signed a renewal application for one of the warrants in June 2017. By that point, the FBI had received multiple pieces of information that contradicted the Steele dossier.