Yesterday, deputy FBI director Andrew (you can call him Andy if you’re hanging out in his office handicapping presidential races) McCabe testified for about seven-and-a-half hours before the House Intelligence Committee. The meeting was notable for a couple of things. First, there were no leaks while he was testifying. This is in stark contrast to Adam Schiff’s antics while Donald Trump, Jr., testified that produced nearly a running commentary to CNN. Second, McCabe was protected by the Democrats but he didn’t tell them anything they wanted to hear.
Sources close to the investigation say that McCabe was a “friendly witness” to the Democrats in the room, who are said to have pressed the deputy director, without success, to help them build a case against President Trump for obstruction of justice in the Russia-collusion probe. “If he could have, he would have,” said one participant in the questioning.
Investigators say McCabe recounted to the panel how hard the FBI had worked to verify the contents of the anti-Trump “dossier” and stood by its credibility. But when pressed to identify what in the salacious document the bureau had actually corroborated, the sources said, McCabe cited only the fact that Trump campaign adviser Carter Page had traveled to Moscow. Beyond that, investigators said, McCabe could not even say that the bureau had verified the dossier’s allegations about the specific meetings Page supposedly held in Moscow.
If this is correct, then contrary to the popular anti-Trump meme that “the dossier has been validated,” apparently nothing in the dossier has been verified by anyone other than Carter Page’s documented trips to Russia.
And, of course, McCabe lied. This goes without saying.
The sources said that when asked when he learned that the dossier had been funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, McCabe claimed he could not recall – despite the reported existence of documents with McCabe’s own signature on them establishing his knowledge of the dossier’s financing and provenance.
This is very hard to believe as it seemed all of official and media Washington was aware of the source of the Trump dossier and the FBI ponied up around $50,000 to finance opposition research on a presidential candidate.
Keep in mind that Scooter Libby got a federal conviction for saying he remembered hearing about Valerie Plame from one source when prosecutors said he heard about her from another.
And the Intelligence Committee issued more subpoenas today:
While HPSCI staff would not confirm who will be summoned for testimony, all indications point to demoted DOJ official Bruce G. Ohr and FBI General Counsel James A. Baker, who accompanied McCabe, along with other lawyers, to Tuesday’s HPSCI session.
Things are going to get much worse for the FBI front office before they get better.