The Department of Justice told former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe it would not pursue charges against him in an announcement Friday.
McCabe said that he still expects to remain a target of President Donald Trump’s “maniacal rage.”
Per Hot Air:
Two points up front in light of this post a few hours ago. One: The president’s going to have a fit, to put it mildly. WaPo reported yesterday that the new DOJ recommendations of light sentences for Mike Flynn and Roger Stone aren’t nearly as important to him as seeing political enemies like James Comey and Andrew McCabe prosecuted. He was irate when no charges were filed against Comey; he’ll be climbing the walls watching McCabe skate too. But like I said in the earlier post, there’s only so much Bill Barr can do with the evidence he has. No doubt he’s willing, maybe even eager, to haul Trump’s antagonists into court. (He’s the patron saint of the Durham investigation, isn’t he?) But if he doesn’t think a conviction’s possible, he’s stuck.
Which brings us to the other point. Does this explain Barr’s sudden eagerness to intervene in the sentencing of Flynn and Stone? He must have had some inkling over the past few weeks that McCabe wouldn’t be charged before today’s announcement made it official. He knew what Trump’s reaction would be. He may have feared, not incorrectly, that his job would suddenly be in peril when the news broke, with Trump lambasting him on Twitter a la Jeff Sessions as an AG who just couldn’t deliver what the president wanted of him. Maybe he tried to get out in front of his problem by wading into the Flynn and Stone cases, hoping that a turn towards leniency for them by the DOJ would soften the blow to Trump once he heard the news about McCabe getting off.
I don’t think it’s going to soften it much.
What happened here, exactly? Could it be that Jessie Liu, the now-departed former U.S. Attorney of the D.C. office that investigated McCabe, was somehow in his corner? No, not according to the NYT: They reported back in September that she and her deputies all recommended charges against McCabe, even after his lawyers met with them and pleaded their case for why none should be filed. Another wrinkle is the fact that a grand jury was called in this case and convened more than once, although there was an odd months-long gap between sessions last year. DOJ lawyers informed McCabe’s attorneys last fall that he should expect to be charged, something prosecutors usually say right before an indictment is issued. But … no indictment followed this time. Legal observers were left scratching their heads at the time at reports that the grand jury had met again and nothing had happened. McCabe’s lawyers heard through the grapevine that they had refused to hand down an indictment — an all but unhead-of occurrence — and wrote to Liu in September asking for confirmation: