The Justice Department should resist demands by House Republicans for information about its investigation into President Joe Biden‘s handling of classified documents, said a former FBI leader.
Andrew McCabe, who served as deputy director and acting director of the FBI between 2016 and 2018, said he would advise the Justice Department to take a “very hard line” against cooperating with the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee.
“There is a clear precedent here of not sharing information from an ongoing criminal investigation with Congress. And I think the DOJ is in a very strong position to resist on those grounds,” McCabe said Friday on CNN.
“Who knows what comes of that resistance?” he added. “Maybe DOJ leadership starts getting subpoenaed. And ultimately, that fight will end up in the courts. And that could drag things out. That’s going to be an additional distraction to DOJ. But it shouldn’t disrupt the actual conduct of the investigation. So, that’s a — it’ll be a separate but related set of stressors that DOJ has to deal with.”
McCabe became a law enforcement analyst at CNN following a tumultuous end to his decades-long career at the FBI in 2018.
Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe, citing an inspector general report that said McCabe “lacked candor” with investigators when discussing the disclosure of information to The Wall Street Journal about an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
McCabe made the recommendation about the Biden documents inquiry after saying there is “a lot of concern” about the duration of the probe. He noted Biden’s attorneys have stressed the president is cooperating with authorities, and McCabe said the entire effort could take only a few months. Meanwhile, Trump has been openly hostile to a separate DOJ inquiry into his handling of documents.
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday he appointed former U.S. Attorney Robert Hur as special counsel to investigate Biden over classified documents found in an office in Washington, D.C., and in his home in Wilmington, Delaware. The documents date back to Biden’s time as vice president. Although the first batch of documents was allegedly found in early November, days before the 2022 midterm elections, the discovery did not become public until last week.
The House Judiciary Committee, led now by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), sent a letter Friday to Garland seeking documents and communications about Biden’s “mishandling of classified documents, including the apparently unauthorized possession of classified material.”
Among the demands made by the panel were for documents and communications related to the appointment of Hur. “The circumstances of this appointment raise fundamental oversight questions that the Committee routinely examines,” the letter states.
Some Republicans, including former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), are raising concerns about Hur because of his role in drafting a Justice Department letter to House Intelligence Committee Republicans urging them not to release a memo on alleged surveillance abuses in the Trump-Russia investigation over claims the disclosure could harm national security.
“Hur looks like a fixer for the Democrats and the Deep State,” Nunes told The Washington Free Beacon.
McCabe claimed his firing in 2018 was a means for the Trump administration to tarnish then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. McCabe played an integral role in the FBI’s inquiry into alleged links between former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia, which was later wrapped into Mueller’s endeavor. McCabe sued for wrongful termination and won back his pension in a settlement last year.