Former FBI Director James Comey knew his Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was leaking information about the Clinton Foundation probe to the press, a lawyer representing Mr. McCabe said.
The two men provided “starkly conflicting accounts” about a conversation they had over a leak to The Wall Street Journal, according to a Justice Department Inspector General report released last week. Mr. McCabe insisted he told his boss that he had authorized the disclosure about the Clinton Foundation investigation, but Mr. Comey has denied that claim.
On Wednesday, McCabe attorney Michael R. Bromwich said Mr. Comey’s version of events is flat-out wrong.
“The report fails to adequately address evidence — including sworn testimony — and documents that prove Mr. McCabe advised Director Comey repeatedly that he was working with the Wall Street Journal on the stories in question prior to the publication,” Mr. Bromwich said. “Neither Mr. Comey nor the OIG is infallible, and in this case neither of them has it right.”
Mr. McCabe told investigators that Mr. Comey knew he had authorized the disclosure and agreed it was a “good” idea, according to the inspector general report. However, Mr. Comey said Mr. McCabe gave him the impression that he had not authorized the leak and did not know how it happened.
Ultimately, the inspector general sided with Mr. Comey, concluding that Mr. McCabe had lied.
“As we note in the report, none of the circumstantial evidence supports McCabe’s claim, while the overwhelming weight of the circumstantial evidence support’s Comey’s recollection,” Inspector General Michael Horowitz said. “In his submission McCabe presented no evidence of to corroborate his version of events. Instead, McCabe focuses entirely on attacking the credibility of Comey’s recollection.”
The inspector general concluded that Mr. McCabe leaked information to counter the narrative that he was slow-walking the investigation to help Hillary Clinton win the presidential election.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired Mr. McCabe on March 16 — two days short of his retirement — based on a recommendation from the FBI’s office of professional responsibility.
At that time, Mr. Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump in May 2017, expressed support for his colleague.
“Special Agent Andrew McCabe stood tall over the last 8 months, when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on,” Mr. Comey tweeted. “He served with distinction for two decades. I wish Andy well.”
But Mr. Comey took a swipe at Mr. McCabe during an appearance on “The View” to promote his new book. Host Meghan McCain questioned how the public can have confidence in the bureau after it was revealed Mr. McCabe lied about the leak.
“It’s not OK,” Mr. Comey said. “The McCabe case illustrated what an organization committed to the truth looks like. I ordered that investigation.”