Andrew McCabe may have revealed to his inner circle an inside plan to replace his friend James Comey as FBI director if and when Hillary Clinton was elected president of the United States, according to top officials in the Justice Department.
The Inspector General, who is combing McCabe’s communications while he was deputy director of the FBI during the 2016 presidential election, is looking at many parallel revelations from McCabe’s discussions in emails and text messages, DOJ sources said.
There was at least talk of a FBI promotion, one DOJ source said.
The Inspector General is independent and conducts its investigation without direct DOJ oversight or meddling. When asked how the DOJ personnel know specifically what the IG was probing about McCabe’s tenure at the FBI — beyond what the IG has already published about its focus — one source said “we hear things just like you, but we have to wait for all the details.”
If those discussions about a promotion to FBI director with co-workers and McCabe’s inner circle were anything more than bravado, that certainly is troubling.
And given the fact that McCabe’s wife Jill was given more than $1.25 million in Hillary-backed campaign donations to run for state senate in Virginia, it could spell additional legal woes for her husband. McCabe was in charge of the Hillary Clinton email investigation at the FBI at the same time his wife ran for office. At the same time he and his wife struck a deal to run for office with Hillary consigliere and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who was allegedly under investigation at the time by the FBI for a public corruption case.
One DOJ official would not comment on whether a parallel criminal probe of McCabe was likewise underway. Likely, the DOJ will await the IG’s report(s) and decide how to proceed. One DOJ source said the IG has amassed McCabe’s communications and the DOJ is not currently privy to those documents. Also, this subject area might be a case better suited for a new Special Counsel, one source said.
In 2016, the only promotion for McCabe would have been to take Comey’s place as FBI director. Clinton had blasted Comey during the final weeks of the campaign, accusing him of trying to ruin her chances of beating Donald Trump after Comey re-opened the email probe of Clinton mere days before election day.
Did McCabe brag to friends about one day running the FBI or were there actual “quid pro quo” conversations about that becoming a reality, the DOJ source questioned.
The Inspector General is looking at McCabe’s missteps in the Clinton investigation: were these merely honest gaffes or intentional errors to help boost Hillary’s chances of getting elected, sources said.
And there were many errors.
“This is complicated,” one DOJ source said, stressing the Inspector General’s report on McCabe and FBI malfeasance could be released in many condesned reports, not one single report encompassing all facets.
Sources said such reports may not be released until late April or early May, although it is hard to determine because the IG’s probe remains fluid.
McCabe was fired last week, days before his official retirement was scheduled to kick in.