The Diversionary Leaks of the IG Investigation of Andrew McCabe Begin

The word is that the long-awaited Department of Justice IG investigation into the activities of former FBI deputy directory Andrew McCabe is about to be released.

According to various sources, the IG report will criticize McCabe for a) misleading (this is typically called “lying to” if you aren’t fortunate enough to be among the protected in-crowd) investigators and b) unauthorized media leaks.

The Justice Department inspector general is preparing a damaging report on former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, alleging he was responsible for approving an improper media disclosure, two people familiar with the matter said. One of the people said McCabe will also be accused of misleading investigators about his actions.

The report is a part of Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s broad review of the FBI and Justice Department’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

During that work, inspector general’s investigators found that McCabe had authorized the disclosure of information to the Wall Street Journal for an October 2016 story that examined feuding inside the FBI and Justice Department around the handling of a separate investigation into Clinton’s family foundation, two people familiar with the case said.

Those probing the matter believe that McCabe, who stepped down in January, misled them when they initially inquired about the subject, though one person familiar with the forthcoming report said McCabe disputes that he intentionally misled investigators.

The focus of most of the coverage is on a single WSJ article: FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe. Particularly this:

Mr. Comey was given an update, decided to go forward with the case and notified Congress on Friday, with explosive results. Senior Justice Department officials had warned the FBI that telling Congress would violate policies against overt actions that could affect an election, and some within the FBI have been unhappy at Mr. Comey’s repeated public statements on the probe, going back to his press conference on the subject in July.

The back-and-forth reflects how the bureau is probing several matters related, directly or indirectly, to Mrs. Clinton and her inner circle.

New details show that senior law-enforcement officials repeatedly voiced skepticism of the strength of the evidence in a bureau investigation of the Clinton Foundation, sought to condense what was at times a sprawling cross-country effort, and, according to some people familiar with the matter, told agents to limit their pursuit of the case. The probe of the foundation began more than a year ago to determine whether financial crimes or influence peddling occurred related to the charity.

This is the way it is being framed by the left:

Nice spin.

First, the IG report is going to focus on the handling of the Clinton email investigation. So there is going to be a lot more in it than this. And it is a safe bet that McCabe is going to take more than a few serious hits.

Second, IG reports rarely leak. Once the report hits DOJ later in the month or early next month, expect leaks. Right now I wouldn’t put a lot of credence in this story being representative of what will be reported out. I wouldn’t be surprised if the source for this was McCabe himself because he would be given a chance to respond to any derogatory findings about his conduct, or close friends of his.

Third, the “unauthorized” leaking part seems suspect to me. According to the stories, McCabe had authority to talk to the press but, in this case, he deputized minions to do that. This seems like a very chickensh** violation unless the FBI has some internal regulation about speaking off-the-record. And if that is the case, the DOJ IG has tumbled onto a full- and perpetual-employment scheme for his entire office. If McCabe has authority to talk to the media without clearance, then he can delegate that authority, particularly when the article doesn’t identify the FBI as the source and doesn’t represent the material as being the official position of the FBI.

Fourth, properly viewed, the leak that Hayes and his fellow-travelers are getting thigh sweats about is more “pro-FBI,” “pro-McCabe,” and “pro-Comey” than it is “anti-Clinton.” The narrative is the FBI is doing God’s work and being stymied by political hacks in Justice. McCabe and Comey are on top of it, the very souls of impartiality. Some of the WSJ story is total bullsh**. For instance, the narrative McCabe spins is that he didn’t know about the Weiner emails until mid/late October. We know that he was informed about them in mid-September and sat on that report. The article is a fairly transparent attempt to stomp out the fire that Comey started with his memo “restarting” the Clinton email investigation by arguing that a) it was a big deal and b) we only just found out about it.

Properly viewed, I think this leak is a distraction designed to inoculate McCabe and others by making the investigation “old news” when it does start to leak. Clearly, the left’s defense of his conduct is going to be “he only hurt Hillary.” McCabe and Comey are going to argue that whatever they did was for the greater good. I suspect the truth will be quite a bit different.