THE CONSERVATIVE TREEHOUSE January 29, 2018 RECOMMENDED SOURCE
On Sunday night the Justice Department was granted access to view the House Intelligence Committee memo known as the ‘Nunes Memo’. In unusual timing, last night FBI Director Christopher Wray went to the secure facility (SCIF) in the basement of the House of Representatives to view the content of the House Intel Committee memo.
Today, the FBI releases an announcement saying Deputy FBI Director Andrew “Andy” McCabe has stepped down (been removed) from his position effective immediately.
Narrative engineers immediately began applying a typical spin to the announcement away from recent discoveries of corrupt behavior of the FBI, and inferring President Trump’s admonishments of Deputy Director McCabe were the impetus for removal.
Via NBC [Andrew McCabe] … served a brief stint as acting director of the bureau after Trump fired ex-FBI chief James Comey, will remain on the payroll until March, when he is eligible to retire with full benefits, NBC said. He had been expected to leave.
Trump and some Republicans in Congress have accused McCabe of political bias, citing his role at the FBI during investigations related to Hillary Clinton and Trump. They question his role in the Clinton email probe and the investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Kremlin.
Trump did not answer when asked by reporters Monday afternoon if he knew about McCabe’s move. (read more)
It is interesting, perhaps important, to note a few things within this latest development and overlay them.
♦First, in February of 2017we drew attention to a story of how Deputy Director Andrew McCabe approached then chief-of-staff Reince Priebus to state that the FBI saw no evidence of any Trump-Russia collusion, and the reports within media about leaks from the intelligence community toward that narrative were based on nothing.
Priebus asked if the FBI could then knock down all of these media reports by issuing a statement outlining the same. After some quick communication with FBI Director Comey, Deputy Director McCabe responded back to Priebus saying no, the FBI couldn’t issue that statement.
Within a day CNN was reporting that Reince Priebus tried to “pressure” Andrew McCabe and James Comey. Obviously that story to CNN came directly from McCabe and/or Comey. This example of FBI leaking to media (in 2017) is contained within a book that was just mentioned yesterday.
♦Secondly, it is not coincidental that now the Justice Department has had an opportunity to preview the Nunes memo content, we begin seeing leaks about it in the New York Times.
The Black Hat operatives within the DOJ and FBI are desperate to get out ahead of the stories.
Think about it. The Nunes memo was available to congress for over a week, and not a single -substantive- material leak came out. Yet, within HOURS of the Justice Department having access to the memo, the New York Times is writing about specific details contained within the memo:
WASHINGTON — A secret, highly contentious Republican memo reveals that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein approved an application to extend surveillance of a former Trump campaign associate shortly after taking office last spring, according to three people familiar with it.
The renewal shows that the Justice Department under President Trump saw reason to believe that the associate, Carter Page, was acting as a Russian agent. But the reference to Mr. Rosenstein’s actions in the memo — a much-disputed document that paints the investigation into Russian election meddling as tainted from the start — indicates that Republicans may be moving to seize on his role as they seek to undermine the inquiry.
The memo’s primary contention is that F.B.I. and Justice Department officials failed to adequately explain to an intelligence court judge in initially seeking a warrant for surveillance of Mr. Page that they were relying in part on research by an investigator, Christopher Steele, that had been financed by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. (read more)
More on that angle a bit later….
THE CREST OF THE TSUNAMI: FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe Stepping Down Ahead of Planned Retirement BEFORE THE MEMO IS RELEASED ALONG WITH THE KRAKEN, BEAST, AND HOUNDS
Andrew McCabe on Monday left his job as deputy director of the FBI after enduring withering attacks from President Trump and other Republicans.
McCabe went on leave from the FBI on Monday, pending the effective date of his retirement in March, said two government officials familiar with the move.
McCabe already had intended to retire this spring, but his presence at the bureau had increasingly become a focal point of anger for Trump, who continues to fume about the special counsel investigation into his campaign’s dealings with Russia. The earlier-than-expected departure was first reported by NBC.
Last month, Trump gave a push to McCabe, questioning reports that he would stay in the job until the spring: “90 days to go?!!!” Trump tweeted. He has highlighted the fact that McCabe’s wife, a Democrat, ran a losing campaign for the state Senate in Virginia and received contributions with help from Clinton allies, or what he termed “Clinton puppets.”
Earlier this month, reports said that Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions pressured FBI Director Christopher Wray to push McCabe out, and a report in the Washington Post said that Trump, after firing former FBI director James B. Comey, asked McCabe how he voted in the 2016 election. Comey also has asserted that Trump in private conversations insisted on loyalty.
“The president wasn’t part of this decision-making process and we would refer you to the FBI where Christopher Wray serves as the director,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday. President Trump has “full confidence” in Wray, Sanders said.
McCabe ran the bureau for several months after Trump fired Comey last May, and he notably refused to go along with Trump’s assertions that the rank and file in the FBI had lost faith in the former director. During a Senate hearing, he testified that Comey still had “broad support” within the bureau and said he had “the highest respect for his considerable abilities and his integrity.”
After Wray, the next in command in the FBI is now David Bowdich, who earlier in his career was the agent in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office.
Staff writer Brian Bennett contributed to this report.
A source confirmed to Fox News that McCabe is taking “terminal leave” – effectively taking vacation until he reaches his planned retirement in a matter of weeks. As such, he will not be reporting to work at the FBI anymore.
The move was first reported by NBC News.
McCabe has long been a controversial figure at the bureau.
Republicans have questioned McCabe’s ties to the Democratic Party, considering his wife ran as a Democrat for a Virginia Senate seat in 2015 and got financial help from a group tied to Clinton family ally Terry McAuliffe.
Trump himself tweeted in December: “How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said during Monday’s press briefing that Trump “stands by” his previous criticism of McCabe but was not involved in the departure.
“The president wasn’t part of the decision-making process,” Sanders said.
On Monday, Democrats defended McCabe after news of his retirement broke.
“FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is, and has been, a dedicated public servant who has served this country well,” tweeted former Attorney General Eric Holder, who worked in the Obama administration and has become a frequent Trump critic.
Added Holder: “Bogus attacks on the FBI and DOJ to distract attention from a legitimate criminal inquiry does long term, unnecessary damage to these foundations of our government.”
McCabe’s exit follows recent news of other changes in top FBI roles, as Trump has taken aim at other senior FBI officials who worked under the former director, James Comey.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said last week that his chief of staff, James Rybicki, was leaving the bureau. Department of Justice officials also told Fox News that Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia who is also the acting head of the DOJ’s National Security division, has been selected to step in as the FBI’s next general counsel. James Baker, who had served as general counsel, was reassigned late last year.
McCabe’s name has surfaced in connection with several other controversies.
The Daily Beast reported that a GOP memo alleging government surveillance abuse named McCabe, along with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and ex-FBI boss James Comey.
Incidentally, the McCabe removal comes after Wray viewed the memo Sunday on Capitol Hill, as reported by Fox News’ Catherine Herridge. The removal also comes ahead of a DOJ inspector general report regarding the handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe.
Several Republicans also want to know what McCabe knew about anti-Trump text messages between two bureau officials, including one that seemed to reference an “insurance policy” against Trump winning the 2016 election.
“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office – that there’s no way he gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” Peter Strzok texted on Aug. 15, 2016. “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
Some lawmakers think “Andy” was a reference to McCabe.
Late last year, Trump drew attention to news stories about McCabe’s rumored agency exit.
“FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits,” Trump tweeted.
The Washington Post last week reported that Trump, during an Oval Office meeting last spring, pressed McCabe, who was then acting FBI director, about whom he voted for in the 2016 election. McCabe, according to the outlet, told the president he didn’t vote.