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. Lisa Bernhard reports.
( CBS, Reuters, Twitter) – Former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe – who took over the bureau after President Trump fired James Comey – says concerns over Comey’s firing prompted him to open an obstruction of justice case against the President just one day after his first meeting with Trump.
[SOUNDBITE FMR FBI ACTING FBI DIRECTOR ANDREW MCCABE:] ‘I was speaking to the man who had 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.’
In an interview airing on CBS’s ’60 Minutes’ Sunday – snippets of which were released Thursday – McCabe also confirmed a New York Times report from September that talks were held at the highest levels of the Justice Department over whether the vice president and Cabinet members could be brought together to remove Trump from office under the Constitution’s 25th Amendment – which outlines procedures for doing so.
McCabe also said he also acted quickly in authorizing the Trump investigation for fear he could lose his job and the Russia probe would vanish.
[SOUNDBITE FMR FBI ACTING FBI DIRECTOR ANDREW MCCABE:] ‘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, or reassigned or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace. I wanted to make sure that our case was on solid ground and that if somebody came in behind me, closed it and tried to walk away from it, they would not be able to do that without creating a record of why they made that decision.’
McCabe, who’s promoting a book about his time at the bureau, was fired in March 2018 by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who cited an internal FBI watchdog report that found McCabe leaked information to reporters and misled investigators about his actions. McCabe said he was targeted over the Russia probe.
Trump on Thursday lashed out at McCabe, tweeting he ”pretends to be a ‘poor little Angel’ when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax – a puppet for Leakin’ James Comey.”
The investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice continues under Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.