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McCabe’s Leak Denials Cast Suspicion On His Loyal Aide, Lisa Page

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  • James Comey told the Justice Department’s inspector general that Andrew McCabe’s repeated denials that he was involved in a leak about an investigation of the Clinton Foundation cast suspicion that FBI lawyer Lisa Page went “off the reservation” and leaked the story herself. 
  • Page did disclose information about a Clinton Foundation probe to a reporter in October 2016, but only because McCabe instructed her to do so. 
  • McCabe repeatedly denied to Comey that he was involved in the leak. He was eventually investigated by the Justice Department, but the probe was shut down on Friday with no charges. 

Andrew McCabe’s denials to his FBI colleagues that he was behind a media leak related to the Clinton Foundation investigation in October 2016 cast suspicion on his loyal aide, Lisa Page, former FBI Director James Comey said in an interview with the Justice Department’s inspector general.

In a Nov. 15, 2017 interview, Comey said that McCabe denied to him that he was involved in a leak for an Oct. 30, 2016 story in the Wall Street Journal that disclosed the existence of an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

Because of McCabe’s denials, Comey’s chief of staff, James Rybicki, came to suspect that Page, McCabe’s general counsel, may have revealed the information for the story.

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“I actually didn’t suspect Andy,” Comey said in the interview.

“After conversations with Rybicki my worry was is his aide doing it,” he added, referring to Page.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington obtained the transcript of Comey’s interview last month, but it has not been reported in the media.

The Justice Department on Friday closed an investigation of McCabe. Prosecutors in Washington, D.C. were weighing whether to charge McCabe with making false statements to FBI investigators and the Justice Department’s office of the inspector general (IG) regarding his role in authorizing Page to speak with a reporter from The Journal.

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The IG found that McCabe displayed a “lack of candor” four times by denying any role in the leak.

Page congratulated her former boss in a Twitter post on Friday after the Justice Department closed the case.

McCabe authorized Page to provide details of the investigation to Devlin Barrett, a reporter who worked for The Journal. Days earlier, Barrett published a negative story about contributions that a Clinton ally gave to the state senate campaign for McCabe’s wife.

Barrett’s second story revealed the existence of an investigation of the Clinton Foundation. It also portrayed McCabe as battling with the Justice Department to try to keep the investigation going. The story revealed that McCabe had a heated conversation on Aug. 12, 2016 with Justice Department official Matthew Axelrod, who reportedly wanted the FBI to back off of the probe.

Prosecutors investigated whether McCabe made false statements to FBI and Justice Department officials regarding his authorization of a leak to The Wall Street Journal.

Comey told the IG that he considered the story a problem because it would make the Justice Department “furious.” He also said that Rybicki suspected that Page was the sole leaker.

“I think Rybicki came in or called me when this appeared and said this is really bad. DOJ is going to be furious,” Comey said.

“I’m really worried Lisa Page went off the reservation or something here,” Comey recalled Rybicki saying.

Comey also appeared to embrace the theory because of McCabe’s repeated denials that he was involved in the story.

“I don’t remember except that I have a strong impression that he conveyed to me, it wasn’t me boss,” Comey said of McCabe, who was fired from the FBI on March 16, 2018.

He paraphrased McCabe saying “I don’t know how this shit gets in the media,” and “why would people talk about this kind of thing?”

Besides an initial denial that he was involved in the leak, McCabe did not tell Comey of his involvement even after the FBI chief asked him to pull phone and email records for FBI employees in order to snuff out the leaker.

Comey said that when he discussed the issue with McCabe, the deputy mentioned that there were a large number of contacts between FBI agents in New York and members of the press.

Comey said it “bugged” him that there were stories in the media about the Clinton Foundation probe.

“I want to find who is making disclosures and nail them to the wall and so see if we can do it internally,” Comey said.

“And then I remember Andy periodically telling me, we were pulling phone records, we were pulling text records to see if we could figure out what was going on and

“I remember him telling me that we were finding a disturbing number of contacts between the FBI in New York executives and media figures, not that executives can’t talk to media figures, but a concerning number of contacts,” said Comey.

Comey also suggested in his interview that Page was overly loyal to McCabe, even to the detriment of the FBI.

He described deliberations with McCabe about possible recusing himself from Clinton-related matters because of Devlin Barrett’s initial news story about contributions to his wife’s political campaign.

Comey said that McCabe was “very unhappy” at the suggestion that he recuse himself from the investigation. Page was also opposed to the idea, so much so that she raised the issue with Rybicki.

Comey said he had a “strong reaction” when Rybicki told him that Page disagreed with the decision to have McCabe removed from Clinton investigations.

“Lisa’s client is the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States. Our client is not Andy McCabe and she you know, you want me to do it or you do it, but someone’s got to make that clear to her that she’s not, should never be before me advocating for Andy McCabe,” Comey said.

“She should step back.”

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5 comments

  1. Your right Jan, anything can happen. From my perspective, if human A can be prosecuted (and serve prison time) for; lying / misstatement to the FBI / DOJ, then human B can also be prosecuted for the same.

    In law, simply because a charge is levied (perjurious testimony), does not stop additional charges from being added or amended to the complaint (such as seditious conspiracy). Since, in the immediate case McCabe has lied so much and so often, documented and supplemented with a “criminal referral” from the DOJ (a rare thing indeed), only points to the Dark State being in charge.

    After 3 years of completely fabricated, fraudulent charges against the ‘President and his Men’ which has resulted in zero charges, it is time for those who attempted unsuccessfully to overthrow the government of We The People to be prosecuted, thrown in prison and the key to their freedom destroyed.

  2. All of these comments have truth in them & could easily be combined..

    Yes there is still an element of Deep State…every single Obama holdover needs to be replaced….I’d like to see a wall of orange jumpsuits lined up, but suspect more will go unpunished that go to priso

    Zehn, I do think that there are a few key players that will see the inside of a court room. THINK ABOUT THIS…McCabe’s role is pretty well known to most of us…& frankly my mouth dropped open when he was cleared by Barr….BUT #1 We don’t know WHO-WHAT he gave up to be cleared (I’m thinking Comey) and #2 As I understand it, he’s still under investigation for ‘other ” misdeeds.

    Dunham is looking at Brennan as well….for criminal acts…And the circle around him is wide.

    Most of this is up to the DOJ, but we have a job to do as well,,,,we need to get Trump the House & keep the Senate….like it or not, we gave it away.

    Patience and Faith my friends…

  3. Comey is one of the biggest LIARS on the face of the planet…!! EVERYONE and ANYONE involved in OPERATION CROSSFIRE HURRICANE….the ongoing COUP to overthrow a legally elected President of the United States of America……must be held accountable…!!! Period…!! That included the entire Administration of Barack InSANE Obama and his….FBI, CIA, DOJ, Lame Stream Media….among others…..they must pay for their treasonous crimes…!! Period…!!

  4. None of this is a surprise, nor that the DOJ (under Barr), isn’t going to prosecute. The Dark State is alive and well, screwing; We The People.

  5. Not one of these traitors will go to prison, ain’t justice great for the connected

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