Justice Department Will Get Andy McCabe, Or Die Tryin'
Looks like Donald Trump finally found his Roy Cohn. Attorney General Bill Barr is doing his darnedest to deliver Andy McCabe's communist head to the old drunk heading up HUAC, or rather the teetotalling president of the United States of America.
The Washington Post was first to report that the DOJ intends to file a criminal indictment against the former deputy director of the FBI. The Justice Department's Inspector General concluded that McCabe lied under oath about authorizing Lisa Page and another agent to speak to the Wall Street Journal about Hillary Clinton's BUT HER EMAILS. McCabe contends that he never misled investigators intentionally and that he sought to revise his statements upon further review. But these arguments appear to have fallen on deaf ears, with line prosecutors at the DOJ and US Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie Liu agreeing that McCabe should be charged.
Negotiations between McCabe's lawyers and Deputy AG Jeffrey "The New Rod" Rosen ended yesterday, with the DOJ informing McCabe that "The Department rejected your appeal of the United States Attorney's Office's decision in this matter." Because we all know that the Trump administration cannot abide lying or leaking in any form!
So, should Andy McCabe prepare to be arrested imminently?
The Post reports that the grand jury empaneled to hear the government's case against McCabe had been on hiatus for months. Yesterday it reconvened, and then ... nothing happened. It appears that no indictment, sealed or otherwise, has been filed, leading to widespread speculation that the jurors are unhappy with the government's case. Prosecutors only need to convince 12 of 23 jurors to sign on the dotted line, and yet this ham sandwich remains un-indicted.
Even aside from Trump's constant braying on Twitter for Andy McCabe's head, The New York Times describes a case riddled with irregularities. One of the Justice Department's lawyers, Kamil Shields, recently left for private practice because she "was unhappy with the lengthy decision-making process." A second prosecutor, David Kent, was transferred off the case, which is not how any of this goes when charges are imminent. Lisa Page herself testified that McCabe had no motive to lie, since his position allowed him to authorize media contacts. And the Times reports that yet another witness "could not immediately remember how the leak unfolded." Which lends credence to McCabe's claim that he just forgot the details of one particular incident at the busiest, most stressful time of his long career.
Not for nothing, but the same US Attorney's Office just went down in a stinging defeat in its case against Skadden, Arps lawyer Greg Craig for lying to the FBI about his work for Paul Manafort and his Ukrainian backers. If they couldn't make false statement charges stick against Craig, they might not like their chances of getting a DC jury to convict McCabe, an infinitely more sympathetic character who is currently suing the FBI for wrongfully terminating him just hours before his pension would vest, contravening its own procedures just to satisfy Donald Trump's lust for vengeance.
So now what?
Well, now we and Andy McCabe wait to see what happens. If the grand jury fails to return an indictment, the DOJ could impanel another jury and start over. Or, it could eat the shit sandwich and charge McCabe anyway, even without a seal of approval from the grand jury, which would be an embarrassing public admission about the weakness of its case. The DOJ would then have 30 days to get another panel to return an indictment.
In short, their case against McCabe is pretty weak. But if the goal is to make the Dipshit in Chief happy by forcing a career public servant to spend millions of dollars and put his life on hold for two years to defend himself in court, then an eventual acquittal is still a win.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.