Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s closed-door interview with House Intelligence Committee investigators on Tuesday did not go well for him, Fox News’ James Rosen reported in an exclusive on Wednesday.
According to congressional sources, McCabe’s answers during his seven-hour interrogation conflicted with the testimony of previous witnesses, prompting one House investigator to tell Fox News, “It’s hard to know who’s telling us the truth.”
The discrepancies have spurred Republican majority staff of the intel committee to issue fresh subpoenas next week for other Justice Department and FBI personnel.
Fox News reports that those personnel are likely to be “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.” Ohr — whose wife Nellie worked for Fusion GPS through the summer and fall of 2016 — is set to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee later this week, as well.
The questioning on Tuesday was led by Rep. Trey Gowdy, (R-SC) with several other lawmakers participating, according to Fox News. Gowdy, in particular, has been very keen to find out whether the FBI relied on the anti-Trump dossier to secure a FISA warrant to spy on President Trump and his associates. “I want to know whether the nation’s premier law enforcement agency relied on a document that looks like the National Enquirer prepared it,” Gowdy said in October.
In what has to be a blow to the #RussiaGate crowd, the number two official in the FBI was apparently unable to cite which specific details in the dossier had been actually corroborated, after he told investigators that the bureau had verified some of the allegations. He also seemed to suffer from an attack of amnesia when asked about the Democratic funding of the dossier.
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.
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.
McCabe will also testify before the House Judiciary Committee in a closed-door interview on Thursday, although some members would like him to testify in public.
“We absolutely need to get sworn testimony, under oath, in public because the American people deserve to know whether or not their taxpayer money was used to fund a dossier to discredit the president,” House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told Fox Business anchor David Asman on Wednesday. “We have to know whether that dossier was then dressed up as an intelligence document and used to spy on Americans,” he said, adding that “we certainly have to know why Nellie Ohr, the wife of Bruce Ohr — one of the top officials at the Department of Justice — was getting paid by the very company, paid by the Democrats, to go give money to the Russians, to dig up dirt on the president that wasn’t true.”
Gaetz said demoted Agent Strzok’s now famous “smoking gun” text message referring to an “insurance policy” against the president makes McCabe “a witness to a potential conspiracy to undermine the duly elected president of the United States.”
“The ‘insurance’ was to discredit the president,” he added. “Unequivocally, the ties between this Trump dossier, the Democratic National Committee, the FBI and then the very wife of one of the top officials at the Department of Justice make it very clear that this was a coordinated effort to undermine President Trump, and if we allow this to continue, it casts a cloud over the entire presidency and it leaves in place institutions that aren’t truly serving the will of the people,” he said.