Last Friday, NPR quietly reported that former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe would be launching a new legal defense fund to “help him pay to deal with congressional investigations, contacts with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and a possible wrongful termination and defamation case he may file against the Trump administration.”
McCabe Spokeswoman, Melissa Schwartz, tweeted mid-Monday that the new legal defense fund would take the form of a trust.
True to the commitments made at the time of the unanticipated but much appreciated Go Fund Me campaign, the Andrew G. #McCabe Legal Defense Trust has officially launched. We are grateful to the distinguished former public officials who have agreed to serve as trustees. https://t.co/SY5GPqoykM
— Melissa Schwartz (@MSchwartz3) April 23, 2018
As Law & Crime points out, the new legal defense fund – organized by McCabe’s attorney, Michael Bromwich, is very similar to the first one created by Bromwich just four weeks ago, which raised $567,976 before it was shut down – except the new legal defense fund appears to be fairly open-ended in terms of what McCabe can use the money for, including a wrongful termination lawsuit against the Trump administration.
The original text accompanying that first fundraising plea–attributed to an unidentified group of individuals who referred to themselves as “Friends of Andrew McCabe”–pointedly said that GoFundMe donations would not be used in connection with any of McCabe’s pension troubles.
The new legal defense fund apparently contains no such caveat.
Bromwich’s statement that the new trust fund would likely be used to finance a wrongful termination lawsuit appears at odds with the original campaign’s commitments. –L&C
While McCabe hasn’t said where the $567,976 from the GoFundMe has gone, it Schwartz is suggesting that the donations will be used for the initial funding of the new trust.
Bromwich told reporters on Friday that he had recently met with federal prosecutors in Washington to discuss a criminal referral of McCabe for his alleged “lack of candor” when he lied four times to investigators, including twice under oath, about leaking self-serving information to the New York Times during the Clinton email investigation.
McCabe was fired on March 16 after the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that he “had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor – including under oath – on multiple occasions.”
Specifically, McCabe allegedly authorized an F.B.I. spokesman and attorney to tell Devlin Barrett of the Wall St. Journal, just days before the 2016 election, that the FBI had not put the brakes on a separate investigation into the Clinton Foundation – right around the time McCabe was coming under fire for his wife taking a $467,500 campaign contribution from Clinton
proxy pal, Terry McAuliffe.
McCabe, through his attorney Bromwich, seems to be claiming that the DOJ Inspector General – an Obama appointee – is simply doing Trump’s bidding (despite the fact that Comey “ordered the report” which led to McCabe’s ouster).
“All institutions are fallible,” Bromwich said. “In this case I think they have got it horribly wrong,” he said of the OIG report. “We really hope that the case is going to be evaluated on the merits, not based on the president’s view.”
McCabe has been a longstanding political target of President Trump, both in public comments and in newly declassified memos by former FBI Director James Comey. Trump is described as raising the subject of McCabe several times in his meetings with Comey.
Bromwich decried Trump’s “continuing slander” against McCabe. “We’ve never seen anything like this before. It does damage not only to Andy McCabe individually but also to the FBI as an institution.” –NPR
Meanwhile, McCabe and Comey are setting up for quite the battle over whether or not Comey knew of the leaks. While peddling his book on ABC’s The View, Comey called McCabe a liar – and admitted that he ordered the IG report that found him guilty of leaking to the press.
Comey was asked by host Megan McCain how he thought the public was supposed to have “confidence” in the FBI amid revelations that McCabe lied about the leak.
“It’s not okay. The McCabe case illustrates what an organization committed to the truth looks like,” Comey said. “I ordered that investigation.”
Comey then appeared to try and frame McCabe as a “good person” despite all the lying.
“Good people lie. I think I’m a good person, where I have lied,” Comey said. “I still believe Andrew McCabe is a good person but the inspector general found he lied,” noting that there are “severe consequences” within the DOJ for doing so.
Bromwich replied to Comey’s comments – stating that the former FBI Director was well aware of the leaks.
“In his comments this week about the McCabe matter, former FBI Director James Comey has relied on the Inspector Genera’s (OIG) conclusions in their report on Mr. McCabe. In fact, the report fails to adequately address the evidence (including sworn testimony) and documents that prove that Mr. McCabe advised Director Comey repeatedly that he was working with the Wall Street Journal on the stories in question…” reads the statement in part.
Between McCabe’s criminal referral, a battle brewing with James Comey, and now a potential wrongful termination lawsuit, looks like that new legal defense fund is going to come in handy. Good thing ol’ Andy has friends all over – even a few who know their way around raising money.