Department of Justice Inspector General released a report Friday
claiming “lack of candor” by former FBI deputy Director Andrew
report also details Justice Department’s influence to close a
multi-state investigation into the Clinton Foundation
IG claims McCabe leaked DOJ’s pressure to end the Clinton
investigation to battle claims he was partial to the Clintons
Department of Justice Inspector General report on the “lack of candor”
by FBI deputy Director Andrew McCabe also documents for the first time
the Obama administration’s effort to shut down the bureau’s
investigation of the Clinton Foundation, according to a review of the
report by The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group.
inspector general (IG) confirmed in its long-awaited reportreleased
Friday that in 2016 the FBI had ongoing field investigations of the
Clinton Foundation in New York, Los Angeles, Little Rock, Arkansas and
Washington, D.C. The multi-city investigation was launched when agents
found “suspicious activity” between a foreign donor and Clinton
Foundation activity in the Los Angeles area, as TheDCNF reported in
report, authored by Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz, an Obama
appointee, chronicles the Justice Department’s effort to to shut down
the FBI’s investigation on Aug. 12, 2016. The pressure allegedly came in
the form of a phone call to McCabe from a Justice Department principal
associate deputy attorney general (PADAG) who pressed McCabe on the
continuing investigation. The
IG did not identify which PADAG made the call.
was important the pressure for ending the investigation was issued in a
phone call and not in a written document, former FBI assistant Director
Ronald Hosko told TheDCNF.
did it in a phone call, which is maybe a little more difficult to
serve up as evidence,” he told TheDCNF in an interview. Hosko said
that by giving a verbal order, the Justice Department “chose not to
document it by design.”
makes it harder to reconstruct. But that might be part of the goal,
right?” he noted.
served in the bureau for 30 years. His last post was as the assistant
director for the bureau’s highly regarded criminal investigation
division. Hosko’s last post was under former FBI Director James Comey
and Attorney General Eric Holder.
Lynch was attorney general at the time of the August call. She had been
caught privately meeting with former President Bill Clinton in June 2016
on her government aircraft on the tarmac in Phoenix. That meeting
occurred only days before Comey decided not to pursue criminal charges
against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the use of a
personal email server that she used to conduct official Department of
State business. Lynch later claimed the
Phoenix meeting was “innocuous” and a “chance encounter.”
was worried about an Oct. 23, 2016 Wall Street Journal article,
which appeared to have damaged his reputation for impartiality because
the journalist, Devlin Barrett, reported McCabe’s wife received a
campaign donation of nearly a half million dollars from Clinton friend
and political ally Terry McAuliffe for her run for a Virginia state
an alleged attempt to show he wasn’t impartial to the Clintons, McCabe
leaked information to Barrett a week later that claimed he personally
fought the Justice Department’s attempt to shut down the FBI’s
investigation, according to the Inspector General’s report.
Barrett’s article appeared
on Oct. 30 and was titled, “FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton
August phone call between McCabe and the senior Justice Department
official was acrimonious, the IG reported. “McCabe acknowledged that the
PADAG call was a very memorable event in McCabe’s career. It involved a
dramatic confrontation between McCabe and the principal Associate Deputy
Attorney General, one of the highest ranking officials in the
Department. McCabe told the OIG that, despite his long career in the
FBI, he had never had a conversation ‘like this one’ with a high level
Department of Justice official before or since August 12, 2016,” the IG
authorized bureau officials to leak the information about the Aug. 12
call, the IG claims. “Specifically, McCabe stated that he authorized
Special Counsel and AD/OPA to provide to Barrett the account of his
August 12 call with PADAG because McCabe thought it was the ‘best
example’ to counter the “incredibly damaging” narrative in Barrett’s
intended story,” the report reads.
Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia and the chairman of the House
Committee on the Judiciary, told Fox
News on Sunday that he thought the idea of shutting down the Clinton
Foundation could have emanated from the White House and not just the
it may well go higher up. It may even go all into the Obama White
House,” he told Fox News. The chairman said he was worried “how the
Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation handled
the investigation into all the aspects of what was going on with Hillary
Clinton, with her emails, with the Clinton Foundation, so on, bending
over backwards to not prosecute, to not investigate properly, to not
continue to investigate is very disturbing.”
IG’s report also indirectly criticizes Comey, who cooperated with the
Justice Department’s plan to remain silent about the bureau’s Clinton
repeatedly refused to confirm to Congress if the bureau was looking into
financial crimes or influential peddling by the foundation, which was
amassing hundreds of millions of dollars from special interests in the
U.S. and abroad, the IG noted.
IG chronicled Comey’s silence about their foundation investigation,
recounting, “before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
on July 7, 2016, FBI Director Comey refused to answer questions about
whether the FBI was investigating the Clinton Foundation. Comey stated
that he was ‘not going to comment on the existence or nonexistence’ of
the [Clinton Foundation] Investigation.”
in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on September 28, 2016,
Comey refused to confirm or deny two different investigations during an
FBI oversight hearing. He stated: “our standard is we do not confirm or
deny the existence of investigations,” the IG’s office reported.
said it was “troubling” that the Obama administration was trying to shut
down not a single probe, but four FBI investigations. “It’s troubling.
There were multiple field offices. So you’re saying all four field
offices got it wrong?” he asked.
agents in the four cities “were collecting information about the Clinton
Foundation to see if there was evidence of financial crimes or
influence-peddling, according to people familiar with the matter,”
Barrett reported at the time.
investigators grew frustrated, viewing FBI leadership as uninterested in
probing the charity, these people said. Others involved disagreed
sharply, defending FBI bosses and saying Mr. McCabe in particular was
caught between an increasingly acrimonious fight for control between the
Justice Department and FBI agents pursuing the Clinton Foundation
case,” Barrett also wrote in his Oct. 30 article.
decision to leak the information about the FBI’s probe of the foundation
was not an attempt to be open and transparent, but to salvage his own
reputation, according to the IG report.
McCabe’s primary concern actually been to reassure the public that the
FBI was pursuing the CF Investigation despite the anonymous claims in
the article, the way that the FBI and the Department would usually
accomplish that goal is through a public statement reassuring the public
that the FBI is investigating the matter,” the IG wrote. The IG stated
his leak was “directed primarily at enhancing McCabe’s reputation at the
expense of PADAG.”
disclosure was an attempt to make himself look good by making senior
department leadership, specifically the Principal Associate Deputy
Attorney General, look bad,” the IG claimed.
question is how much additional pressure did the Obama administration
apply upon the FBI to end its investigation of the Clinton Foundation.
The IG’s report is silent on this point.
IG is expected to shortly release other reports about potential FBI