Like a con proud of his crime, Andrew McCabe cannot help himself from boasting of his misdeeds.
The disgraced former acting head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, bereft of his government pension, seeks to make a buck through a tiresome, tell-some book at the expense of the man who pushed for his firing. Therein, the unelected bureaucrat boasts of plotting to overturn the will of the American people.
The text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, two key members of McCabe’s cabal, indicate that this plot preceded the actual election. “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” Strozk wrote Page about a conversation regarding the Republican candidate in McCabe’s office. “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
That insurance policy involved the FBI repackaging opposition research from the Clinton campaign, compiled by a longtime agent of a foreign government, as an “intelligence dossier” that ironically charged collusion between a presidential campaign and a foreign entity. It continued with the FBI obtaining Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrants, obscuring the fact that the Clinton campaign paid for the information used to secure the warrants, to electronically surveil members of the Trump team in a banana-republic scheme so glaringly illegal that it required a cover-up, whose ends each subsequent investigation served.
Shortly after Trump fired James Comey, for instance, his successor McCabe ordered a grasping-at-straws obstruction of justice investigation of the president, as though the FBI director enjoyed tenure rather than worked at the behest of the elected leader of the executive branch. A week thereafter, McCabe prevailed upon Rod Rosenstein to appoint Robert Mueller as special counsel. McCabe writes in his book that appointing a special counsel to investigate Russian collusion in the 2016 election “felt like crossing a finish line. If I got nothing else done as acting director, I had done the one thing I needed to do.”
He needed to do it not because Trump colluded with a foreign power to become president — Mueller, after almost two years, shares zero evidence of this — but because McCabe and his colleagues repeatedly ignored the law in their attempt to rig the election against the Republican nominee. They needed to justify their criminal behavior.
Most disturbingly, Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes reports that McCabe schemed to induce the invocation of the 25th Amendment, as though the man duly elected president somehow lacked his faculties because he disagreed politically with Andy McCabe (he also questions Jeff Sessions, the man who actually fired McCabe with Trump’s support, “mental faculties,” in the words of Washington Post reviewers).
None dare call it a coup. But in each step, the intelligence apparatus called an end-around on democracy. The “insurance policy” involved the government using the apparatus of the state to spy on the opposition party. It attempted to criminalize the legitimate constitutional powers of the president in firing politically appointed underlings who serve at the behest of the chief executive. It sought to pervert the intent of the 25th Amendment through a far-flung scheme to roust Trump from his office ostensibly because of an incapacitated state.
McCabe did this for the same reasons that 60 Minutes uncritically questioned him. He hates Donald Trump. People who loathe Trump believe the ends justify the means, that anything done to thwart Trump works on the side of the angels. If the Bush Administration spied on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, if FBI agents launched a criminal investigation against Obama because he exercised his powers in firing one of their number, if unelected bureaucrats plotted to invoke the 25th Amendment on the 44th president, would Scott Pelley have been so fawning toward the architect of all this?
McCabe, a political actor, should have overseen neither the investigations into Hillary Clinton’s emails nor Donald Trump’s “collusion” with the Russians. Terry McAuliffe, as Virginia’s governor, recruited McCabe’s wife, Jill, to run for state senate. He donated $467,500 from his political action committee and other money into her coffers. In January 2016, the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz began investigating a conflict of interest involving McCabe’s failure to disclose donations to his wife from arguably the closest political ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton. And if Sunday’s 60 Minutes interview does not convince that McCabe despised the president, keep watching the disgraced official’s televised book tour.
James Comey, Rod Rosenstein, Michael Horowitz, and Donald Trump all challenge McCabe’s version of truth regarding various events. CBS News, strangely, laps it all up.