Buried deep in the inspector general's findings on former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and his handling of matters related to Hillary Clinton is McCabe's report of a phone call from "a senior Justice Department official" who voiced "his displeasure at finding that New York FBI agents were still openly pursing the Clinton Foundation probe during the election season."
The Justice Department official was, a person close to McCabe reported, "very p——d off." As a result of the phone call, did the Justice Department, in fact, shut down the investigation?
Would a high-level Justice Department official — as yet unnamed — risk his career and a prison sentence to ask the deputy director of the FBI to slow-walk an investigation of Clinton's foundation without encouragement from further up the totem poll of power?
I doubt it very much. McCabe and the "official" must be questioned by the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia in order to follow this story and the facts wherever they lead. Do they lead to former President Barack Obama? Attorney General Loretta Lynch? FBI Director James Comey? We need to know.
These events happened after The Wall Street Journal ran a story detailing the financial ties between the Clintons and McCabe's family. When Jill McCabe, Andrew's wife, decided to run for the Virginia state legislature while Andrew sat in judgment over Hillary and her secret email server, the Clintons swooped in and triggered almost $700,000 in campaign donations for her candidacy.
Then The Journal called again and told McCabe it was preparing a story about how he had blocked an investigation of the Clinton Foundation.
McCabe panicked and got Lisa Page (a staffer who's now famous for her texting romance with Peter Strzok) to leak the story of the phone call from "a senior Justice Department official" asking him, in effect, to lay off the Clinton Foundation and kill the investigation.
McCabe spent the next year trying to avoid being blamed for the Page leak he had, in fact, authorized. The leak received new attention after President Donald Trump took office and in May 2017, investigators again questioned McCabe under oath.
He either lied or misled them into believing that he knew nothing about the origin of the leak, even pretending that he did not know "CF" meant Clinton Foundation. The investigators asked McCabe to provide a sworn statement. But, as the months dragged on, McCabe never did.
The truth — that he had told Page to leak the story — only emerged when the love letters in text between Strzok and Page surfaced. Knowing that Page would point the finger directly at him, McCabe called the inspector general to "walk back" on his earlier claims saying he "may have authorized" Page to leak.
Whatever the truth, two facts are clear:
One, a high-level Justice Department official did call the deputy director of the FBI to tell him to stop the investigation of the Clinton Foundation while the campaign raged.
And two, McCabe did shut down the investigation midstream after the call.
Now, we have McCabe facing criminal prosecution for lying, under oath, about the leak. This charge gives prosecutors the leverage to find out who the senior official was. Then, they can examine him (or her) to find out who asked that the call go out to McCabe and so on all the way up the food chain.
Where will it end? My guess is the Oval Office. After all, as Harry Truman said, "the buck stops here."