Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe shut down an online fundraiser on Monday after raising more than $550,000 to help pay his legal bills.
The initial goal for the crowdfunding campaign was set at $150,000, but it surpassed that mark hours after McCabe’s friends set it up March 29. As of 7 p.m. EST on Monday, the fundraiser had pulled in $554,520 from more than 13,000 donors.
Hours after the campaign was set up, it emerged that an FBI Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) report asserted McCabe lied four times about media leaks he authorized just before the 2016 election.
McCabe lied about his knowledge of the leaks to OPR, the Justice Department’s office of the inspector general, and his boss, FBI Director James Comey, Ohio Republican Rep. and House Judiciary Committee member Jim Jordan, whose staff viewed the report, stated.
McCabe acknowledged authorizing the leak, which was for an October 2016 article in The Wall Street Journal about the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation. But McCabe’s top FBI position allowed him to direct interaction with the press, he said.
Nevertheless, OPR recommended McCabe be fired for a “lack of candor.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions accepted the recommendation and fired McCabe on March 16 — just two days before he was set to retire.
McCabe denied the “lack of candor” allegation and said he will challenge his firing.
He will use the funds to pay for legal costs associated with that challenge as well as to potentially pursue unspecified lawsuits. McCabe accused President Donald Trump of targeting him for political purposes. One target for Trump has been hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions then-Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe gave to McCabe’s wife, Jill McCabe, for a Virginia state senate run in 2015.
“The outpouring of support on GoFundMe has been simply overwhelming and has led to contributions that have left us stunned and extraordinarily grateful,” McCabe wrote in a statement to supporters of his crowdfunding campaign.
“The fact is that if I am going to continue taking a stand against the unfair way I have been treated, I will need the help of a talented and courageous team behind me.”
On March 30, McCabe’s attorney, Michael Bromwich, challenged OPR’s determination McCabe lied to Comey about authorizing media contacts.
“One thing is clear: Mr. McCabe never misled Director Comey. Director Comey’s memory of these interactions was equivocal and speculative, while Mr. McCabe’s recollection is clear, unequivocal and supported by documentary evidence,” Bromwich said in a statement, adding McCabe’s e-mails show “clearly show” Comey was kept in the loop about the media leaks.
“Director Comey has no specific recollection of what Mr. McCabe told him, while Mr. McCabe remembers the two discussed the article before and after its publication,” Bromwich added.
The OPR report states McCabe denied authorizing leaks to the media in an Oct. 31, 2016, meeting Comey held, CNN reported later on Friday.
Comey, who Trump fired in May 2017, has not publicly commented on the matter.
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