News & Politics

Report: McCabe Issued Stand-Down Order on Clinton Email Investigation

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Multiple former FBI officials are alleging that fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe tried to steer agents off the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, and there may be evidence to prove it, investigative journalist Sara Carter reported Tuesday.

McCabe is already facing potential criminal charges for lying under oath about leaks he made to the Wall Street Journal in 2016 regarding the FBI’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

The stand-down order allegedly came after the New York Times first reported that Hillary Clinton had used an unsecure personal email account for State Department business in March of 2015, but before the official investigation was requested by the Justice Department in July 2015.

According to Carter’s sources, McCabe was overseas when the story broke and sent electronic communications to underlings “voicing his displeasure.”

“McCabe tried to steer people off the private email investigation and that appears to be obstruction and should be investigated,” a former FBI official with knowledge of the investigation told Carter. “Now if the information on the ‘stand-down’ order is obtained by the IG that could bring a whole lot of other troubles to McCabe.”

Inspector General Michael Horowitz released the report on McCabe earlier this month and is continuing to investigate the FBI’s role in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private server to conduct government business. Horowitz’s team of investigators have been sifting through more than 1.2 million documents, of which 46,000 are connected to the ongoing investigations, according to several Congressional officials who spoke to this reporter. Of those documents, Congress has received a tiny fraction of the emails pertaining to their oversight investigations.

Included in the body of documents obtained by the inspector general are all of McCabe’s communications, according to congressional officials.

McCabe felt the need to leak information salvaging his reputation after a Wall Street Journal story suggested possible FEC violations involving his wife Jill McCabe’s unsuccessful run for Virginia state Senate in 2015.

Campaign finance reports obtained by the Wall Street Journal showed that she received roughly $700,000 from political super PACs connected to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a personal friend of the Clintons.

Members of Congress soon began questioning McCabe’s possible conflicts of interest in the Clinton email and foundation investigations, and called on him to recuse himself.

In a follow-up article, Wall Street Journal reporter Devlin Barrett referred to a possible “stand-down” order given by McCabe to FBI agents regarding their ongoing investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

At the time, no-one, including former FBI Director James Comey had officially confirmed the investigation into the Clinton Foundation. McCabe, in an effort to salvage his reputation and rebut the claims against him before the story came out on Oct. 30, 2016, authorized a leak of a phone conversation he had with the Department of Justice in which he claims he pushed back against the DOJ, which he says was fighting against the Bureau’s investigation.

Here is what the inspector general’s report says about McCabe’s alleged phone conversation with the DOJ (aka “the hidden bombshell in the McCabe report”):

McCabe told the OIG that on August 12, 2016, he received a telephone call from Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General regarding the FBI’s handling of the Clinton Foundation. McCabe said that the PADAG expressed concerns about FBI agents taking overt steps in the Clinton Foundation investigation during the presidential campaign. According to McCabe, he pushed back, asking “are you telling me that I need to shut down a validly predicated investigation?” McCabe told us that the conversation was “very dramatic” and he never had a similar confrontation like [that] call with a high-level Department official in his entire FBI career.

If the sources are correct, we now have two stand-down orders protecting Hillary Clinton from criminal investigations — one from McCabe and one from high-ranking officials in the Obama Justice Department. And a stand-down order given for partisan political reasons, it should be noted, is obstruction of justice.