Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said Thursday on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” that the internal Department of Justice report recommending that Andrew McCabe be fired said the former FBI deputy director lied four times about making unauthorized media disclosures.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe just before his retirement was set to kick in, earlier in March, upon the recommendation of the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). Jordan and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) reviewed the materials that said the OPR found that McCabe lied four times.
“We do know about Andrew McCabe, that he didn’t lie just once. He lied four times,” Jordan said. “He lied to [former FBI Director] James Comey, he lied to the Office of Professional Responsibility, and he lied twice under oath to the inspector general.”
“It wasn’t once, it wasn’t twice — it wasn’t even three times. Four times he lied about leaking information to The Wall Street Journal about the FBI,” Jordan added.
Meadows noted that the report’s findings aren’t “about politics” at all, even though Democratic lawmakers and media members often portray GOP lawmakers’ concerns about the Justice Department’s and FBI’s integrity as such.
“Everyone is saying, ‘Oh, this is political in nature.’ But when you read the report, you see that it’s not political because under oath, and certainly with the investigation, it was a real problem,” Meadows said.
Meadows and Jordan spoke just hours after Sessions announced that there wouldn’t be a second special counsel appointed to investigate the FBI’s conduct, the Clinton Foundation, or the Uranium One scandal.
Several GOP lawmakers, including Meadows and Jordan, have repeatedly called for the second special counsel. Instead, Sessions said that he had appointed U.S. attorney John Huber from Utah to head investigations into those issues.
Sessions said in a letter to Senate Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) that special counsels are “reserved for use in only the most ‘extraordinary circumstances,'” citing U.S. Code.
“Attorney General Sessions just talked about ‘extraordinary circumstances.’ Well, how much more extraordinary do you have to be when you fire the central player in the investigation?” Meadows said, referring to McCabe. “That’s one critical component. And so we need to have this special counsel. I disagree with the attorney general.”
Goodlatte recently subpoenaed 1.2 million DOJ documents regarding the FBI’s investigation into 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and address to conduct official government business as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. Meadows noted that “this Department of Justice” under Sessions “is not complying with the subpoena and with the oversight responsibility that we have in Congress.”
“And so for the attorney general to suggest that there is not enough ‘there there’ is just extremely disappointing,” Meadows said. “We’re putting the pieces of the puzzle together. But the DOJ [is] keeping some of the pieces from us.”
Jordan accused the Justice Department of “trying to hide information from us.”
“James Comey’s been fired. Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has been fired. Jim Baker, former chief counsel at the FBI, has been demoted and reassigned. Peter Strzok, former deputy head of counterintelligence, has been demoted and reassigned. And Lisa Page, former FBI counsel, has been demoted and reassigned,” Jordan said.
“If those aren’t ‘extraordinary circumstances’ warranting a second special counsel, I don’t know what the heck is … I mean, tell me some fact pattern that would then, Mr. Sessions,” Jordan continued. “So I don’t know why the attorney general just keeps postponing this.”
Meadows told host Laura Ingraham that he believed Sessions is “being poorly served.”
“When I’ve had conversations with him and the deputy attorney general, it’s almost like they have a set of talking points that they go to. But the facts don’t support those talking points,” Meadows said. “I would suggest that both of them need to look at the fine details of this. And when they do, they will come to the same conclusion that Jim and I have come to — [that] it’s time for a special counsel.”