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Sacked FBI deputy director misled investigators, watchdog says

Sacked FBI deputy director misled investigators, watchdog says

The U.S. Department of Justice's inspector general released a report on Friday concluding that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe misled investigators about a decision to break with the agency's standard policy and inform a journalist about a probe into the Clinton Foundation in 2016.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe on March 16, just days before McCabe would have been eligible for retirement benefits.

Trump portrayed the report's findings as vindication of his criticism of McCabe and former FBI Director James Comey as biased for their roles in shepherding along a federal probe into alleged collusion between Russian Federation and his 2016 campaign.

"DOJ just issued the McCabe report - which is a total disaster", Mr Trump wrote, referring to the Department of Justice report, released by inspector general Michael Horowitz on Friday. Subsequently, McCabe led FBI Director James Comey to believe that he had not approved such media disclosures. The report says that McCabe "lacked candor" in a conversation with Comey when he said that he had not authorized the disclosure and didn't know who did. "McCabe was totally controlled by Comey - McCabe is Comey!"

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That may not matter to Mr Trump, who sees the executive offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a "den of thieves and lowlifes" akin to a law-enforcement version of the fictional Star Wars' Mos Eisley cantina. Comey, who was sacked by Trump in May, called the president "unethical, and untethered to the truth", according to excerpts from the book.

"W$3 e concluded that McCabe's decision to confirm the existence of the CF Investigation through an anonymously sourced quote, recounting the content of a phone call with a senior Department official in a manner created to advance his personal interests at the expense of Department leadership, was clearly not within the public interest exception", the report says.

McCabe denied the report's allegations in a detailed rebuttal statement.

"Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the bad job he did - until he was, in fact, fired", Trump tweeted earlier Friday, adding that it was his "great honor" to axe Comey.

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A lawyer for fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe says he's considering filing a defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump and his "colleagues".

The official rationale for the termination of McCabe from the Justice Department was that McCabe misled IG's investigators probing the FBI's handling of the Clinton email inquiry.

McCabe, who is close to Comey, could be an important witness for Mueller, who is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, including his motivation for firing Comey in May 2017.

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