Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said in testimony before a Senate panel this week that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe "lied both under oath and not under oath on several occasions" when talking to federal investigators, and that this is what led to his firing.
Horowitz, during an appearance before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Thursday, reiterated his findings from the 2018 report that detailed multiple times when McCabe "lacked candor" when talking to FBI Director James Comey and federal investigators about his authority to leak sensitive information to the press after a Wall Street Journal report revealed an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe in 2018 following the OIG report, which found "substantial" evidence that McCabe "knowingly and intentionally" misled federal investigators, as well as violated multiple FBI offense codes and policies. However, McCabe sued in 2019 claiming that he was forced out by then-President Donald Trump and denied any wrongdoing. The lawsuit was settled in October, with the Justice Department restoring McCabe’s full pension.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said to Horowitz during the hearing on Thursday, "It’s incredibly important that you all have independence, and we rely on you to conduct some of the most sensitive and important investigations in government."
The senator then asked Horowitz to repeat his findings to the panel.
"The report concerned an investigation that actually the FBI had initially undertaken involving alleged leaks about information that was potentially damaging to Secretary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign. The FBI internal investigators developed information that they believed — led them to believe — that deputy director McCabe may have lied to them," Horowitz said. "They then referred the matter to us, given the position he held at the FBI. We assumed the investigation and concluded in a public report that remains on our website — and the public can see — that Mr. McCabe lied both under oath and not under oath on several occasions when he denied at various points certain key facts and information, including who was the source of the leak."
When asked if Trump or anyone else in his administration had any influence on his report, Horowitz said, "absolutely none," and when asked if other officials at the Justice Department agreed that McCabe had lied, he said yes.
"They agreed with us on almost all, but actually not all of our findings. So they made their own independent call that, in fact, he lied on multiple occasions, but they didn’t fully find everything we found," Horowitz said. "They then sent it to — because of deputy director McCabe’s position, there’s a different process for him — it went to the attorney general for review, then-Attorney General Sessions. And my understanding is, and this I don’t have complete insight into, but my understanding is that the attorney general asked a career official in the Office of the Deputy General to handle the review and that that person recommended removal as well."
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