In the wake of Thursday’s bombshell news that the DOJ has rejected fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s appeal of the decision to recommend charges against him, his new employer, CNN, is in a bit of a quandary.
The looming charges stem from a 2018 DOJ Inspector General report that found McCabe had lied under oath on three occasions.
Although the network knew when they hired McCabe as a contributor last month that an indictment was a possibility, they likely felt the chances were remote. Now that the odds have increased significantly, some of his colleagues aren’t so happy.
A current CNN on-air personality, who spoke to Fox News on the condition of anonymity, said, “It’s hard to see the justification for hiring him initially since it was publicly documented he’s, best case, a liar. How will CNN handle it if he’s also soon indicted?”
This person also told Fox that “it erodes our journalistic credibility to have so many highly anti-Trump, former Obama DOJ/security officials without a semblance of balance.” This was a reference to the network’s hiring of Obama administration officials such as Samantha Vinograd, Jim Sciutto, Asha Rangappa, Juliette Kayyem, James Clapper and now McCabe.
Does CNN actually have any journalistic credibility or balance?
A second current CNN on-air personality who wishes to remain anonymous told Fox that “many liberal-leaning staffers feel McCabe is “somewhat of a freedom fighter” who was “unfairly targeted” by the Trump administration.” But this person feels that McCabe “made some colossal mistakes and the fact that he f—ing lied under oath, I have no sympathies for him. How will [CNN] have him on weigh in on anything related to integrity?”
This source added:
CNN would “stand by McCabe until they can’t” and said network producers have kept McCabe out of situations where he could be “undressed” on-air by pundits with opposing views.
McCabe’s colleague also pointed out that CNN doesn’t typically refer to him as a “law enforcement analyst,” instead opting for the simpler label “correspondent.”
Apparently, McCabe does have some supporters at the network, one of whom is their top legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, whom they trotted out yesterday after the news broke. Toobin said, “Andy McCabe is a CNN contributor. He’s a colleague and a friend to many of us who work here. This is an extremely unusual prosecution. Andy McCabe had the right to speak to reporters. That is beyond dispute. As deputy director of the FBI, he had the right to speak to reporters. He also has an impeccable record as one of the most honored and successful FBI agents of his generation.”
With all due respect to Jeffrey Toobin, McCabe did have the right to speak to reporters. However, he did not have the right to lie about it.
McCabe is entitled to due process under the law as all Americans are, except for President Trump or anyone associated with him. But the IG report seems pretty straightforward. And, as I see it, McCabe’s involvement in the FISA application process and his role in the FBI’s counter-intelligence investigation against Trump may bring further trouble his way.
And just maybe, it wasn’t such a wise move for McCabe to have sued the FBI and the DOJ in August over his firing. It’s never a good idea to bring a lawsuit against an organization which holds power over one’s future in their hands.
DePauw University professor and frequent CNN critic Jeffrey McCall spoke to Fox and said:
CNN made a questionable move by hiring McCabe in the first place and needs to keep him off TV while things play out.
With this latest development, the move looks even worse. McCabe has credibility issues, and that is a problem for a news channel that has had its professional practices challenged of late. At the least, it would behoove CNN to suspend McCabe from his contributor position until the legal process has worked its way out.”