The impending prosecution of Andrew McCabe and the corruption of the Justice Department

By | August 27, 2019

Benjamin Wittes writes:

I find it hard to imagine a probability of conviction [of Andrew McCabe, the former deputy FBI director]. To prosecute a case under these circumstances, in fact, seems so bizarre that you have to at least entertain the possibility that the explanation for the decision lies in something other than the merits of the case against the man.

You don’t have to look far for that explanation. Trump has been on a long-term and very public campaign of attacks on McCabe. It hasn’t been subtle. Just look here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here or here.

Only a month ago, even as the Justice Department was actively contemplating bringing charges, Trump tweeted, “Why didn’t Robert Mueller & his band of 18 Angry Democrats spend any time investigating Crooked Hillary Clinton, Lyin’ & Leakin’ James Comey, Lisa Page and her Psycho lover, Peter S, Andy McCabe, the beautiful Ohr family, Fusion GPS, and many more, including HIMSELF & Andrew W?” One can only imagine what the nonpublic communications with the Justice Department might look like with respect to McCabe.

There’s another reason to fear that the McCabe case has been tainted by gross political pressure: The assistant U.S. attorneys who are working the case keep dropping off of it. Goldman reports:

One of the lead prosecutors, Kamil Shields, was unhappy with the lengthy decision-making process and has since left the Justice Department for private practice. Ms. Shields declined to comment.

Another prosecutor, David Kent, also left the case recently. It is not clear why he departed but it would be an unusual move if prosecutors were indeed planning to charge Mr. McCabe.

I’ve watched the Justice Department for a long time. I am not quick to allege that a prosecution is political. I believe in a presumption of regularity with respect to Justice Department activity. If an indictment proceeds against McCabe, as I suspect it will, I will both presume his innocence and presume that the prosecutors who put their names on the document have a good faith basis for doing so, that they believe they can prove their case before a jury in the District of Columbia beyond a reasonable doubt. I’ll wait to form a final judgment until I see the voluminous discovery I expect McCabe will seek on White House pressure on the Justice Department. And I will wait to see the evidence presented at trial.

But I would be lying if I said that, as I look at it now, it all seems on the level to me. I worry that what’s happening here is simple corruption of the Department of Justice in precisely the fashion I have been worrying about since before Donald Trump was even elected. [Continue reading…]

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