Friday, February 14, 2020

Last Call For It's Mueller Time, Con't

So a bit of good news on the "Justice Department" front, the investigation into former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has been dropped.

The Justice Department has decided to abandon its efforts to seek criminal charges against former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, according to a letter sent to his attorneys.

McCabe's lawyers were told last September that he should expect to be indicted on charges stemming from inaccurate statements he made to FBI investigators about his actions around the time of the 2016 election. However, no indictment was ever returned, leading to speculation that the Washington-based grand jury probing the matter took the rare step of rejecting charges.

Prosecutors had been cagey since that time about the status of the investigation into McCabe, who has been a frequent subject of public attacks from President Donald Trump. In theory, they could have presented the case to another grand jury, but on Friday, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington informed McCabe's attorneys that it was giving up its quest to charge the FBI veteran.

"We write to inform you that, after careful consideration, the Government has decided not to pursue criminal charges against your client, Andrew G. McCabe," prosecutors J.P. Cooney and Molly Gaston wrote on behalf of the new U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Tim Shea. "Based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the Government at this time, we consider the matter closed."

McCabe expressed great relief at the decision, but sounded bitter about the probe hanging over him and his family for years.

"I have to say that as glad as I am that the Justice Department and the D.C. U.S. Attorney's office finally decided to do the right thing today, it is an absolute disgrace that they took two years and put my family through this experience for two years before they finally drew the obvious conclusion and one they could have drawn a long, long time ago," he said on CNN, where he serves as a paid commentator.

They couldn't even get a grand jury to indict.  For now, they're still playing by that rule.  But it wasn't the only reason why McCabe was spared.

The timing of Friday's letter to McCabe's lawyers may have been driven by a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by a non-profit watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics Washington. U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton, who is handling the FOIA case, had publicly pressed prosecutors to make a final decision about the McCabe prosecution and had set a deadline Friday for them to disclose previously-secret records related to the FOIA litigation.

The newly-disclosed files showed that in private, Walton was even more stern with prosecutors, warning them that Trump's complaints about McCabe would taint any decision they made.

"The public is listening to what's going on, and I don't think people like the fact that you got somebody at the top basically trying to dictate whether somebody should be prosecuted ... I just think it's a banana republic when we go down that road," Walton told government lawyers behind closed doors in September. "I think there are a lot of people on the outside who perceive that there is undo inappropriate pressure being brought to bear ... It's just, it's very disturbing that we're in the mess that we're in in that regard.

"I just think the integrity of the process is being unduly undermined by inappropriate comments and actions on the part of people at the top of our government," added Walton, an appointee of President George W. Bush. "I think it's very unfortunate. And I think as a government and as a society we're going to pay a price at some point for this."

Closing the case today also spares the Trump regime from having to answer the FOIA request.  That was what motivated the timing more than anything, I think.

It doesn't mean that the regime is done with McCabe however. The Trump vengeance plan now being executed across the country as Senate Judiciary chair Lindsey Graham is apparently making good on his threats to drag everyone involved in the creation of Mueller probe before the kangaroo court of Trumpworld, including, you guessed it, Andrew McCabe.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is requesting interviews with a slew of current and former Justice Department and FBI officials as part of his panel's probe into the department's handling of the investigation into Russia's election interference and the Trump campaign.

Graham sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr on Friday asking that he make 17 officials, many of whom are identified only by title, available for interviews.

"As you are aware, the committee is continuing to investigate matters related to the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's handling of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, including the application for, and renewals of, a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [FISA] warrant on Carter Page," Graham wrote in the letter, according to a copy obtained by CBS News.

Graham notes in his letter that the committee will "additionally be directly contacting former Department officials to schedule transcribed interviews."

Graham has said he plans to call former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to testify as part of his investigation.

Graham, a top ally of Trump's, has vowed he will use his gavel to look into the origins of the Russia investigation and the decision to surveil Page, a former campaign aide.

"I'm going to get to the bottom of the FISA work process because it was an abuse of power of the Department of Justice, the FBI," Graham told CBS News on Sunday.

Graham added he would be doing "oversight of the FISA warrant system that failed."

Whether or not these testimonies will be televised is another thing, but getting interviews under oath would be the next step, much like House Democrats did in their impeachment investigation.  Expect months of testimony, leaks, and eventually televised hearings would be my guess.

The real witch hunt is happening before our eyes.

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