McCabe admits FBI ‘weakness’ in FISA warrant process
Former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe claims there is an ‘inherent weakness’ in the process the FBI uses to obtain warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and his legal team are calling for the Justice Department inspector general to launch an investigation into the agency over what they say is the FBI’s refusal to provide McCabe documents they say he needs to prepare for upcoming congressional testimony.
In a letter to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz on Tuesday, McCabe’s attorney Michael Bromwich requested that his office “investigate the misconduct” of the FBI and Justice Department personnel (DOJ) involved in “improperly denying” McCabe access to specific materials ahead of his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee next month.
“We believe the FBI’s actions in denying Mr. McCabe access to materials such as his personal calendars and his personal notes for the relevant periods — which would refresh Mr. McCabe’s memory and enable him to provide complete and accurate testimony — is a violation of Mr. McCabe’s rights, is contrary to fundamental fairness, and obstructs and impedes the ability of the Judiciary Committee to obtain the testimony it seeks,” Bromwich wrote.
McCabe is slated to voluntarily appear for testimony as part of the committee’s investigations into “Crossfire Hurricane,” the nickname for the FBI’s original Trump-Russia probe.
Bromwich noted that the FBI’s lawyers' objection to producing McCabe’s calendars and personal notebooks is that they may “contain classified material.”
Bromwich went on to claim that in appealing to FBI lawyers to produce the material, they “inadvertently shared part of their actual agenda, stating, ‘Of course, we are in an interesting posture ourselves given the ongoing litigation.’”
Bromwich said the lawyers were referring to McCabe’s civil lawsuit he filed against the DOJ and FBI after his firing, claiming they acted unlawfully in terminating his employment with the bureau in early 2018.
“In short, the FBI lawyers were acknowledging that a factor in their deliberations, if not the overriding factor, was that somehow Mr. McCabe might review materials that could somehow be used to his advantage in his civil suit,” Bromwich wrote.
Meanwhile, Bromwich said that the bureau has “improperly and unjustifiably blocked” McCabe from obtaining access to his materials, and claimed that the response and decisions from the FBI and the Justice Department “violate Mr. McCabe’s rights to be properly prepared to testify under oath,” calling it “contrary to fundamental fairness” and again maintained that it would “obstruct and impede” the Senate Judiciary Committee’s probe.
Bromwich further asked for an investigation and urged Horowitz to identify who in the FBI and Justice Department is responsible for the decisions that he said “deprive” McCabe of “fair and reasonable access” to relevant materials.
Bromwich’s request comes amid Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe.
The committee voted this summer to approve a measure giving broad authority to Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to subpoena more than 50 mostly former Obama administration officials as part of its investigation.
The subpoena authorization approved this summer would also cover any documents, communications and testimony “related to any aforementioned matter” from current and former officials, including McCabe, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, former FBI officials Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, James Baker and Bill Priestap, as well as former DOJ official Bruce Ohr, among others.
Bromwich’s request also comes just a day before former FBI Director James Comey is slated to testify publicly before the committee as part of its probe.
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