FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was forced to resign Monday, just as the House Intelligence Committee is expected to vote on the public release of a classified memo this afternoon revealing extensive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse under the Obama administration, sources told this reporter.
McCabe apparently lashed out to his colleagues when he was told he would be asked to resign, according to sources. FBI Director Christopher Wray viewed the four-page memo on Sunday, sources familiar with the discussions said.
McCabe, who is facing three federal inquiries for conflicts-of-interest during his time at the FBI, is one of the numerous names mentioned in the classified memo detailing FISA abuse, according to sources who reviewed the memo.
The federal inquiries into allegations against McCabe, who was expected to resign in March, are based on documents and interviews conducted by this reporter over the past year and range from sexual discrimination to improper political activity.
McCabe, a central figure in the ongoing Russia investigation against Trump, is also part of the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s ongoing review into the FBI’s handling of former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to send classified information.
Current and former FBI officials said McCabe’s resignation is the beginning of more resignations to come.
“There are people lining up in the bureau to go after McCabe,” said a former FBI official, with knowledge. “There will be a clean up at the Bureau of his cronies.”
According to several U.S. officials, McCabe’s government communications were collected as part of the ongoing DOJ Inspector General investigation, which is expected to be completed by March.
FBI spokeswoman Carol Cratty declined to comment on the resignation.
The process to declassify the document could take anywhere up to five days. President Trump is not expected to object to the memo’s release and the House Intelligence Committee is expected to pass it, stated White House officials in an earlier report.
“My understanding is they will proceed with the vote tonight,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican. “This memo is something I want every single journalist and American to see, I think it’s that important. If Wray saw the memo, there maybe something to McCabe’s resignation. Or it could also be something as innocent as him using his sick time or leave up until retirement.”
The classified memo is considered “explosive and shocking” and hundreds of Republican members and only a dozen or so Democrats have taken the opportunity to review the report in a secured area, according to congressional sources. The memo also contains information that suggests Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reauthorized warrants based in part on the unverified dossier to gather communications on former Trump advisor Carter Page, sources said.
House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows, R-NC, said that he is hopeful the memo will be released to the public and called its contents “shocking.”
“I think from my standpoint there are concerns about political interference by law enforcement and judiciary agencies,” said Meadows, as he prepared to board a flight back to Washington D.C. “These important issues require greater transparency ad it’s critical lady justice remains blindfolded and that the privileged do not have the upper hand in the judicial system.”
Democrat Adam Schiff, D-CA, who has long stated he believes President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia but has offered no proof, said the classified memo is “profoundly misleading” and asked that it not be released
Carter Page, who is one figure at the center of the memo’s revelations, filed his most recent libel lawsuit against Oath and Broadcasting Board of Governors, Radio Free Europe for the story “Report: U.S. Intelligence Officials Examining Trump Advisor’s Russia Ties” written Sept. 23, 2016. The report came a day after Yahoo published a report, which cited multiple sources that suggested Page was under investigation for his ties to Russia. Page has also filed libel suits against Yahoo News and Buzzfeed. Page asserts in the lawsuit that he was a victim of “swatting,” a term used when a group or person provides false information to law enforcement to provoke an emergency action to be taken against a target.
The dossier, which was compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, was paid for by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign. The DNC and Clinton campaign had hired now embattled research firm Fusion GPS to compile the research. Fusion GPS had previously lobbied on behalf of companies closely connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin against the Magnitisky Act, a U.S. law prohibiting companies and people connected to the death of Sergei Magnitsky from owning property or conducting business in the United States. Magnitsky was an auditor at a law firm in Moscow who uncovered $230 million worth of fraud by Russian tax officials and police officers. After he reported the fraud he was detained by Russian authorities and then died in a prison under suspicious circumstances in 2009.
“By falsely and publicly identifying Dr. Page in the U.S., Europe and worldwide as the main accomplice in the most prominent crime story in recent history and simultaneously mischaracterizing the libelous articles as primarily stemming from slightly more legitimate leakers within USG (U.S. government) agencies rather than the opposition political research consultant Christopher Steele, BBG and RFE played an essential roles in the USG’s black propaganda campaign by branding him as the subject of completely outrageous criminal allegations instigated by earlier excerpts from Mr. Steele’s final report (the “Dodgy Dossier”),” Page states in his complaint filed on January, 19.
Page, who lists a number of previous ‘swatting’ cases, states in his complaint, “In these more benign and little-known swatting cases, defendants have been held accountable by courts…The alleged untruthfulness attached to the DOJ’s allegations in the illegitimate FISA warrant issued against Dr. Page and related abuse of process in 2016 based on the dodgy dossier helps to directly fulfill that burden.”
The Department of Justice and some leading Democrats attempted to stop the committee from releasing the classified FISA abuse memo, citing that the classified nature of the document could threaten national security. The DOJ argued in a letter written by Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd that the department had not been given the document for review.
However, several members of the committee told this reporter that the information contained in the memo is lists extensive FISA abuse that occurred before and after the 2016 presidential election cycle.
“What’s important is that the American people will be informed and that the corruption by a few people inside the bureau and DOJ will be exposed,” said a former FBI source with knowledge of the situation. “We can’t move forward unless we as a nation are willing to come clean about what’s been going on and the first step is telling the truth.”