Update: As one might expect, President Trump has chimed in on twitter, where he slammed McCabe for giving Hillary Clinton a pass and accused the former deputy director, who admitted to lying to the DOJ's inspector general, of giving "Hillary a pass."
Disgraced FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe pretends to be a “poor little Angel” when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax - a puppet for Leakin’ James Comey. I.G. report on McCabe was devastating. Part of “insurance policy” in case I won....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2019
....Many of the top FBI brass were fired, forced to leave, or left. McCabe’s wife received BIG DOLLARS from Clinton people for her campaign - he gave Hillary a pass. McCabe is a disgrace to the FBI and a disgrace to our Country. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2019
And as the Federalist's Sean Davis reminds us, Trump's criticisms are very much justified.
McCabe, whose wife took a truckload of campaign cash from a top Clinton donor and confidant, colluded with Clinton campaign contractors and the foreign bagman of a sanctioned Russian oligarch to try and take down a duly elected U.S. president. https://t.co/J24idg4Sxs— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) February 14, 2019
Trump Jr. took the attack one step further, accusing McCabe of trying to orchestrate a "deep state coup" against his father, before declaring that it's time that somebody should "investigate the investigators."
When is someone going to finally investigate the investators? If this isn’t and attempted coup I don’t know what is. Regardless of party if you’re not troubled by this, you’re part of the problem. https://t.co/a1d6QKUUAs— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 14, 2019
And though Rosenstein has already announced his plans to resign from the DOJ after William Barr has been confirmed, Freedom Caucus leader Mark Meadows is renewing the call for him to resign immediately following McCabe's revelations.
Rod Rosenstein has no business working at the Department of Justice, and if these latest reports are true, he should not only resign immediately but come before Congress and answer questions— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) February 14, 2019
* * *
In his first interview about the Russia probe since he was summarily fired by President Trump just 26 hours before he was set to retire and collect his pension, and while the possibility of criminal charges over his attempts to cover up his leaks to the press, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe sat for an interview with CBS about the early days of the Russia probe.
In an excerpt of the full interview, which is set to air on Sunday, McCabe described how he quickly moved to start the Russia probe a day after meeting with Trump in May 2017 in the days after James Comey's firing, over fears that he would soon be fired. After authorizing the investigation into Trump's Russia ties, McCabe sought to ensure that the investigation - which was eventually rolled into the probe eventually taken over by Special Counsel Robert Mueller - would be on "solid ground" even if he was booted from the FBI.
"I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground in an indelible fashion that were I removed quickly or reassigned or fired that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace," McCabe told CBS.
The interview marked the first time McCabe has ever opened up about his thought process when he launched the probe. In his recounting of his conversation with President Trump, McCabe said he felt intimidated by the president.
"I was speaking to the man who had just run for the presidency and won the election for the presidency and who might have done so with the aid of the government of Russia, our most formidable adversary on the world stage," McCabe said in an excerpt aired on CBS on Thursday. "And that was something that troubled me greatly."
He compared Trump's request that McCabe allow him to visit the FBI - a visit that McCabe suggest would have been well outside the bounds of decorum - to tactics used by Russian mobsters that McCabe had once prosecuted.
"In this moment, I felt the way I’d felt in 1998, in a case involving the Russian Mafia, when I sent a man I’ll call Big Felix in to meet with a Mafia boss named Dimitri Gufield," McCabe wrote. "The same kind of thing was happening here, in the Oval Office. Dimitri had wanted Felix to endorse his protection scheme. This is a dangerous business, and it’s a bad neighborhood, and you know, if you want, I can protect you from that. If you want my protection. I can protect you. Do you want my protection? The president and his men were trying to work me the way a criminal brigade would operate."
Of course, nobody in the mainstream press has pointed out that the timing of McCabe's decision to launch the probe would suggest that he was looking for leverage to stop him from being fired along with Comey...though, thanks to his decision to lie to the DOJ's inspector general, that problem swiftly took care of itself.
He also admitted that he launched the investigation without any actual evidence...just partisan hackery.
so in other words the head of the @FBI is confessing publicly he assumed Trump was guilty without any evidence and started an investigation for no reason but partisan hackery ...... and saw nothing Hillary did as suspicious— Dividend Master (@DividendMaster) February 14, 2019
In a discussion about the interview, McCabe's interviewer Scott Pelley said McCabe affirmed that there had been discussions about invoking the 25th amendment to remove Trump - something that was the subject of a series of leaks last year...
.@ScottPelley on what McCabe told @60Minutes: "There were meetings at the Justice Department at which it was discussed whether the vice president and a majority of the cabinet could be brought together to remove the president of the United States under the 25th Amendment." pic.twitter.com/iVAyrEV4MF— Norah O'Donnell🇺🇸 (@NorahODonnell) February 14, 2019
...about a plot allegedly concocted by Rod Rosenstein (Rosenstein, for what its worth, has issued a statement denying McCabe's assertion that the Deputy Attorney General raised the issue of Trump Administration officials wearing a wire during their talks with the president).
The Deputy Attorney General never authorized any recording that Mr. McCabe references. As the Deputy Attorney General previously has stated, based on his personal dealings with the President, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment, nor was the DAG in a position to consider invoking the 25th Amendment.
Finally, the Deputy Attorney General never spoke to Mr. Comey about appointing a Special Counsel. The Deputy Attorney General in fact appointed Special Counsel Mueller, and directed that Mr. McCabe be removed from any participation in that investigation. Subsequent to this removal, DOJ's Inspector General found that Mr. McCabe did not tell the truth to federal authorities on multiple occasions, leading to his termination from the FBI."
The full interview will air Sunday night at 7 pm. But CBS has published an excerpt below: