April 26, 2018

A McCabe Indictment — or a Banana Republic?

Do we live in a nation where the well-connected remain wholly insulated from accountability?

“Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”

“A republic, if you can keep it.”

Two hundred and thirty-one years after Ben Franklin’s famous exchange, America has reached a fork in the road. Down one path, we continue our grand experiment in self-governance and maintain our reputation as the last best hope of mankind. Down the other, we devolve into a banana republic, ruled by a cabal of unelected deep-state bureaucrats accountable to no one but themselves. The best indicator of which way we’ll go? Ousted FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Either he gets indicted, or we live in a nation where the well-connected remain wholly insulated from genuine accountability.

The allegations couldn’t be clearer. As the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) report indicates, McCabe “lacked candor” (he lied) on four occasions when speaking with internal investigators. Thus, the OIG has sent a criminal referral to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, DC.

National Review’s Andrew McCarthy explains the genesis of McCabe’s lying, noting the former agent was “stung by a Wall Street Journal story that questioned his fitness to lead an investigation of Hillary Clinton.”

While running for a state senate seat, McCabe’s wife received the unusually large sum of $675,000 in campaign donations from a PAC controlled by longtime Clinton fundraiser and political confidant Terry McAuliffe, who was governor of Virginia at the time. The Journal’s reporter, Devlin Barrett, soon had follow-up questions for a subsequent article, but McCarthy notes his call came in “just as the Bureau was dealing with the controversy over Director James Comey’s reopening of the Clinton emails investigation.”

That “controversy” was the discovery that Clinton emails, some of which were classified, had been found on the computer of convicted “sexter” Anthony Weiner, husband of longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

When the meeting occurred, McCabe was out of town, so he phoned in. Comey ordered him off the call. “The director and his chief counsel were concerned about the perception of pro-Clinton bias,” McCarthy reveals.

Subsequently, a “humiliated” McCabe got in touch with his special counsel, Lisa Page — the same Lisa Page who exchanged thousands of anti-Trump emails with paramour and fellow FBI agent Peter Strzok — and told her to leak a rebuttal to Barrett’s story. It was about McCabe’s alleged efforts to defend the FBI’s pursuit of the Clinton Foundation the Obama administration wanted to end. And in the ultimate testimony to McCabe’s “character,” the IG report reveals that after the Journal published the story with the leaked information, he “called up the heads of the FBI’s New York and Washington field offices to ream them out over the leak that McCabe himself had orchestrated!” as McCarthy puts it.

In response to questions about these machinations, the report states that McCabe “lacked candor, including under oath, on multiple occasions in connection with describing his role in connection with a disclosure to the Journal, and that this conduct violated FBI Offense Codes 2.5 and 2.6.”

Code 2.5 refers to a Lack of Candor — No Oath. Code 2.6 refers to a Lack of Candor — Under Oath.

Lying to federal investigators is a crime.

The findings of the IG’s report were also sent to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which recommended McCabe’s firing. And while Attorney General Jeff Sessions obliged, there is often a sense among government insiders that termination, and the inevitable damage it does to one’s reputation, is sufficient “punishment” and that following up with a criminal indictment is “excessive.”

McCabe certainly thinks so. He has announced plans to sue the Trump administration for defamation and wrongful termination.

McCabe’s attorney, Michael Bromwich, stated, “We have already met with staff members from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. We are confident that, unless there is inappropriate pressure from high levels of the administration, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will conclude that it should decline to prosecute.”

Inappropriate pressure? Such a characterization should offend every law-abiding American, and not just because of McCabe’s alleged malfeasance. Just as important — if not more so — is the OIG report’s stunning assertion that McCabe insisted he received an Aug. 12, 2016, telephone call from an unnamed Principal Assistant Deputy Attorney General (PADAG) regarding the FBI’s handling of the Clinton Foundation investigation. “McCabe said that PADAG expressed concerns about FBI agents taking overt steps in the CF Investigation during the presidential campaign,” the report states. “According to McCabe, he pushed back, asking ‘are you telling me that I need to shut down a validly predicated investigation?’ McCabe told us that the conversation was ‘very dramatic’ and he never had a similar confrontation like the PADAG call with a high level Department official in his entire FBI career.”

According to FBI and DOJ sources in contact with The Washington Times, “PADAG” refers to Matthew Axelrod, who “quit the Justice Department on Jan. 30, 2017, the same day President Trump fired his boss, Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates, for refusing to defend his travel ban executive order,” the paper reveals.

As former Justice Department official Hans von Spakovsky explains, the chances Axelrod acted on his own are virtually nil. “There is no way I would have ever called the FBI on my own unless I raised concerns with my boss or my boss told me to do so,” he stated.

In short, McCabe, by accident or design, has revealed the effort to stonewall the Clinton investigation — and in turn, influence the 2016 election — goes further up the bureaucratic food chain. How much further?

Without an indictment and/or a grand jury investigation, we may never know.

“Washington continues to operate on a type of ‘Animal Farm’ culture where everyone is equal but some are more equal than others,” asserts George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. “There remains a sharp disconnect in how high-ranking officials are treated as opposed to others in our system.”

And not just McCabe. “Comey was tasked with finding leaks and then became a leaker himself,” Turley adds.

Donald Trump was elected president for a host of reasons. One of them was the electorate’s increasing realization that a double standard of justice has become the norm, not the exception, especially in Washington, DC. Moreover, that contemptible status quo has been nurtured by the likes of McCabe, Comey and very likely several other Obama administration mandarins, who not only believe they are immune from the consequences of their actions but are justified in engendering what is likely to be the worst scandal in our nation’s history — in service to “A Higher Loyalty,” as the title of James Comey’s self-aggrandizing tome puts it.

A self-serving, self-perpetuating Ruling Class agenda borne of sheer hubris is more like it.

“McCabe’s testimony is the best way to learn why the FBI and Department of Justice seemingly mishandled everything related to Hillary Clinton and how the intelligence agencies routinely funneled classified material on Donald Trump to friendly news agencies,” asserts columnist Charles Lipson.

Only if McCabe is indicted. If not? America as a nation beholden to the Rule of Law will cease to exist.

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