Goodlatte backs McCabe firing

Predictably Congressman Goodlatte fully supports the Department of Justice’s vindictive firing (with President Trump’s encouragement) of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, just hours before was scheduled to retire.

I applaud Attorney General Jeff Sessions for taking action and firing former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe prior to his scheduled retirement.

Mr. McCabe’s actions have tarnished the reputation of the FBI, America’s premier law enforcement agency. In his capacity as Deputy Director, Mr. McCabe reportedly leaked internal information to the media and subsequently misled investigators about his actions. This is simply unacceptable and warrants dismissal.

For someone who is so painstaking (to the point of obstruction) when it comes to chairing the House Judiciary Committee, it is remarkable how quickly Goodlatte expressed his approval of McCabe’s firing without actually seeing any details of the charges against him.

As former FBI agent Josh Campbell writes in The Washington Post:

With all eyes on the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General and its forthcoming report on the conduct of FBI officials during the 2016 investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, Justice leadership chose to act on a subset of the IG’s findings and fire McCabe without providing underlying details.

The attorney general appears to have done a disservice to the American people by announcing the conclusion of a high-profile investigation without providing the public with a full accounting of the facts. In today’s polarized climate, the absence of truth makes it easy for members of the public to retreat to their political corners, form narratives and draw conclusions that can be nearly impossible to alter, once baked in.

As any FBI special agent will tell you, investigations are complicated. It is possible to hold two seemingly competing but accurate thoughts in one’s head at the same time, namely, that McCabe could have been not fully candid with investigators and that Justice leadership could have politicized his firing. If he committed wrongdoing, McCabe should be held accountable, but this incident should not define his service to the nation.

But there is a bigger principle at stake here than one FBI agent’s career. The public must not be manipulated by the selective release and withholding of investigative information by the Justice Department.

Nor– willingly or otherwise– should Congressman Goodlatte.

Goodlatte again tries to deflect

You can tell that Congressman Goodlatte is getting nervous about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign and administration. His efforts to divert attention from that probe are intensifying.

According to Goodlatte’s website, he and Congressman Trey Gowdy are calling for the appointment of a special counsel “to investigate potential bias and potential conflicts of interest and decisions made or not made by the Department of Justice in 2016 and 2017.”

In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Chairmen Goodlatte and Gowdy request the appointment of a Special Counsel to review evidence of bias by any employee or agent of the DOJ, FBI, or other agencies; the decisions to charge or not charge and whether those decisions were made consistent with the applicable facts, the applicable law, and traditional investigative and prosecutorial policies and procedures; and whether the FISA process employed in the fall of 2016 and continuing into 2017 was lawful and pursuant to all relevant policies and procedures.

As previously noted at Goodlatte Watch, the congressman’s effort to discredit the integrity of certain FBI agents has been thoroughly discredited. Meanwhile he serenely ignores President Trump’s serial efforts to undermine the Mueller investigation.