WASHINGTON (AP) — A criminal investigation into whether former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe made false statements during an internal probe into a news media disclosure remains open, his attorney said Thursday.
“We’ve had dealings with the U.S. Attorney’s Office” in Washington that has been handling the case, said lawyer Michael Bromwich, who accompanied McCabe to a wide-ranging interview session with reporters. “We are in continuing communication with them.”
The Justice Department inspector general last year referred for investigation and possible prosecution allegations that McCabe lied under oath when questioned about the source of information in a 2016 Wall Street Journal story about an FBI inquiry into the Clinton Foundation. McCabe has acknowledged that he permitted subordinates to speak to the reporter to correct what he said was a false narrative, but he has denied that he lied to investigators.
He has called his March 2018 firing, which arose from the false-statement allegations, politically motivated. Bromwich said Thursday that McCabe will soon sue the Justice Department over his firing.
McCabe is a frequent target of President Donald Trump’s wrath and has just published a book, The Threat: How The FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, that is highly critical of the president.
The investigation into the news media disclosure exposed a rift between McCabe and former FBI Director James Comey.
McCabe told the inspector general's office that he told Comey after the article was published that he had allowed the officials to share particular information and that Comey responded that it was a "good" idea to rebut a one-sided narrative. But Comey is quoted in the report as saying McCabe never told him he had approved sharing details of the call and, in fact, had left him with the opposite impression.
Asked about his current relationship with Comey, McCabe replied tersely, "We don't really have a relationship now."
McCabe also defended the FBI's handling of the early steps of Russia investigation, including the decision to seek a secret warrant to monitor the communications of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. McCabe denied having ever told Congress that the warrant would not have been sought without information from a dossier compiled by a former British spy, Christopher Steele, who was investigating potential ties between Trump and Russia. He called that claim, contained in a House Republican memo issued last year, a "fundamental misrepresentation" of what he had said privately to the committee.
“I’m confident that any review of the process that we went through to get that [warrant] that’s been publicly released will conclude that the process was entirely appropriate and lawful, and we did the work we should have done,” McCabe said.
He also repeated his assertion that the FBI had good cause to investigate, after Comey's firing by Trump in May 2017, whether Trump was working, wittingly or not, as a Russian agent. And he said he believed that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, which so far has produced several dozen criminal charges, has validated the FBI's early concerns about the Trump campaign and Russia.