- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said Tuesday that he would not have approved the FBI’s warrant application to surveil Trump campaign figure Carter Page if he knew of “numerous factual errors” in the warrant.

Mr. McCabe pleaded ignorance as he dodged questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee about the early stages of the FBI’s investigation into alleged collusion between President Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.

The GOP-led committee is holding a series of hearings to probe the FBI’s many missteps in the Russia probe. But Mr. McCabe offered few details about the agency’s decision-making.

Mr. McCabe acknowledged the warrant application contained false statements and omissions, but he refused to say who was to blame.

As Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham and other Republicans pressed, Mr. McCabe conceded he played a role in the faulty surveillance warrant submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court.

“I think we are all responsible for the work that went into that FISA [warrant],” he said, before adding that he “accepted responsibility fully.

“I signed a package that included numerous factual errors or failed to include information that should have been brought to the court,” he said.

Republicans expressed frustration that Mr. McCabe declined to identify who wrote the application.

In previous hearings, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, ex-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and former FBI Director James Comey all declined to identify who made the errors.

“Everyone’s responsible and no one’s responsible,” said Mr. Graham, South Carolina Republican.

A report last year by the Justice Department inspector general concluded the Page warrant applications were filled with mistakes and omitted exculpatory information.

The IG report led to the prosecution of a former FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty earlier this year to falsifying an email used to boost the surveillance request. No one else has faced consequences for the mistakes.

Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, said that wasn’t good enough.

“It is 2020 and these occurred back in 2016,” he said. “I certainly don’t have any confidence that the people responsible for this debacle will ultimately be held responsible.”

Mr. McCabe also faced questions about a memo the CIA sent to the FBI in 2016 regarding information that Hillary Clinton may have approved a plan to use allegations of Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia to distract from the investigation into her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

Again, he said he didn’t know anything about the memo, which was sent to Mr. Comey and anti-Trump ex-FBI agent Peter Strzok.“I cannot, sir, explain to you what Peter Strzok or anyone else thought about that at the time,” Mr. McCabe said.

Mr. Graham asked why the FBI didn’t act on an alert from the CIA. “Somebody should have looked at it,” Mr. Graham said. “Nobody cared over there.”

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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