The Justice Department inspector general is probing whether departed FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe sat on knowledge that Anthony Weiner’s laptop held emails that were potentially relevant to the then-closed Clinton email investigation, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
Then-FBI Director James Comey’s announcement on Oct. 28 that the FBI had learned of “emails that appear to be pertinent to the [Clinton email] investigation” — and his notice on Nov. 6 that the emails hadn’t changed anything — was widely cited as a boon for Donald Trump in the final days of the 2016 election.
McCabe took an early leave from his post at the FBI on Monday after meeting with FBI Director Christopher Wray and discussing the inspector general’s probe, the Post reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.
Though Comey said on Oct. 28th that he had learned of the emails the day prior, the Post reported Tuesday that McCabe was “aware of the matter by late September or early October at the latest, according to the people familiar with the matter.”
The Post reported that McCabe’s detractors and defenders have different opinions on his actions regarding the emails on Weiner’s laptop — with some saying he and other officials appropriately took their time to determine whether they were relevant to the Clinton probe, and others saying he let the question sit without explanation.
The Post’s report also says that unnamed people involved at the time differ in their opinions of when Comey and McCabe first learned about the emails: At the same time, or weeks apart.
“A key question of the internal investigation is whether McCabe or anyone else at the FBI wanted to avoid taking action on the laptop findings until after the Nov. 8 election, these people said,” the Post reported. “It is unclear whether the inspector general has reached any conclusions on that point.”
It is Justice Department — and thus, FBI — policy to stay out of politics with the announcement of developments in investigations, especially within days of an election.