Trump's firing of FBI head Comey
triggered probe: ex-official McCabe
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[February 15, 2019]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former top
FBI official Andrew McCabe said he began an obstruction of justice and
counterintelligence investigation involving U.S. President Donald Trump
and his ties to Russia after Trump fired bureau Director James Comey in
May 2017, CBS News reported on Thursday.
McCabe, who became acting director after Comey's firing, said he was
disturbed by his conversation with Trump following Comey's dismissal and
got the investigations started the following day, according to excerpts
from an interview with "60 Minutes" to be broadcast on Sunday.
"I was speaking to the man who had just run for the presidency and won
the election for the presidency and who might have done so with the aid
of the government of Russia, our most formidable adversary on the world
stage. And that was something that troubled me greatly," said McCabe.
In the first public confirmation of the investigation by an official who
was involved, McCabe described events that occurred in the eight days
between Comey's firing and the appointment of Special Counsel Robert
Mueller to take over the investigations of Russian interference in the
2016 U.S. election, CBS said.
"I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on
absolutely solid ground in an indelible fashion that were I removed
quickly and reassigned or fired that the case could not be closed or
vanish in the night without a trace," said McCabe, who is promoting a
book to be released next week, "The Threat: How the FBI Protects America
in the Age of Terror and Trump."
McCabe confirmed a New York Times report in September that there were
meetings at the Justice Department about whether the vice president and
Cabinet members could be gathered to remove Trump under the
Constitution's 25th Amendment, which outlines how a sitting president
can be removed.
McCabe also confirmed the newspaper's account that Deputy Attorney
General Rod Rosenstein considered wearing a wire in meetings with Trump,
[to top of second column]
Andrew McCabe announces the results of the national health care
fraud takedown during a news conference at the Justice Department in
Washington, U.S., July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Rosenstein denied the report at the time and a Justice Department
spokeswoman said on Thursday that Rosenstein again rejects McCabe's
account as "inaccurate and factually incorrect."
Mueller's office is examining possible coordination between Moscow
and the Trump campaign. Moscow has denied interfering and Trump says
there was no collusion with his campaign.
Trump, who has frequently criticized Comey, McCabe and the Russia
inquiry, on Thursday attacked McCabe on Twitter as a leaker and a
"disgrace to the FBI."
In June 2017, Comey told a Senate committee he believed Trump had
directed him to drop a probe into the Republican presidentís former
national security adviser, Michael Flynn, as part of the broader
McCabe himself was fired in March 2018 by then-U.S. Attorney General
Jeff Sessions, who cited an internal Federal Bureau of Investigation
watchdog report that found McCabe leaked information to reporters
and misled investigators about his actions. McCabe said he was
targeted over the Russia probe.
The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lindsey
Graham, called on McCabe to appear before the panel to "answer
questions about what appears to be, now more than ever, bias against
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; editing by Grant McCool)
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