“I have been accused of ‘lack of candor.’ That is not true. I did not knowingly mislead or lie to investigators,” McCabe wrote in the WaPo op-ed, referring to Sessions citing a yet-to-be released inspector general report that he said found the former No. 2 at the FBI making “an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor – including under oath – on multiple occasions.”
Echoing his comments to the New York Times fresh off of his firing, McCabe said he “answered questions as completely and accurately” as he could “when asked about contacts” that were “fully within [his] power to authorize as deputy director.” He added that he “took the initiative to correct” some of his answers that were “not fully accurate or may have been misunderstood.”
McCabe then zeroed in on the “very public and extended humiliation” he and his family were subjected to by President Trump and his administration over the past year. Citing Trump’s tweet that the firing signaled “a great day for democracy,” McCabe said he was “sad, but not surprised” to see “unhinged public attacks” continue after his time at the FBI. Prior to McCabe’s firing, Trump had often used the Democratic state legislative campaign McCabe’s wife ran and lost in 2015 as dubious evidence of political bias.
“President Trump’s cruelty reminded me of the days immediately following the firing of James B. Comey, as the White House desperately tried to push the falsehood that people in the FBI were celebrating the loss of our director,” McCabe said. “The president’s comments about me were equally hurtful and false, which shows that he has no idea how FBI people feel about their leaders.”
McCabe’s denial of the dishonesty allegations has raised the specter that the actions against him were meant to impair his credibility as a witness against Trump for the firing of Comey. On the night of his firing, McCabe released a statement amplifying his claims that his firing was the culmination of the “Administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the … Special Counsel investigation.”
ABC News reported Wednesday that McCabe authorized a criminal investigation into Sessions’ testimony to Congress in early 2017 where he denied having contacts with Russians during the 2016 campaign.
McCabe served in the FBI for more than two decades, and for a time was its acting director while current FBI Director Christopher Wray awaited confirmation.