Pavlich: When will McCabe face prosecution for lying?

Pavlich: When will McCabe face prosecution for lying?
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

When Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump's no racist; he's an equal opportunity offender Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question MORE fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeMcCabe says it's 'absolutely' time to launch impeachment inquiry into Trump Feds gone wild: DOJ's stunning inability to prosecute its own bad actors Comey: Trump peddling 'dumb lies' MORE, who did a short stint as acting FBI director when James ComeyJames Brien ComeyFBI's spreadsheet puts a stake through the heart of Steele's dossier Hannity invites Ocasio-Cortez to join prime-time show for full hour The Hill's 12:30 Report: Acosta under fire over Epstein plea deal MORE was terminated by President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE, it came as a shock. This wasn’t because his firing was unjustified. After all, the recommendation for dismissal came from the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility and the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The move was surprising because someone in Washington, D.C.’s federal bureaucracy was finally being held accountable for their actions.

McCabe was fired for a lack of candor. In other words, for lying. At the time of his firing it was speculated he lied about leaking sensitive information during the 2016 presidential election about the FBI’s ongoing Clinton Foundation investigation to The Wall Street Journal.

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McCabe denied any wrongdoing and after he was fired wrote an op-ed claiming his innocence, playing the victim and even justifying the leak by claiming Comey knew about it. His wife, Clinton ally Jill McCabe, took to the pages of The Washington Post to defend her Virginia Senate campaign. She also claimed her husband never used his official position at the FBI to bolster her candidacy, but the facts show he used his official FBI email to encourage friendly FBI colleagues to show their support.

Things didn’t stop there. McCabe hired a K Street lobbying firm to set up a legal fund, where he raised $500,000 from sympathetic leftists who viewed his firing as unjust, even cruel, since it happened just two days before retirement.

But the truth is, McCabe’s lying was worse than previously imagined and cited for his firing. Speculation about his lack of candor was overwhelmingly confirmed by a long awaited OIG report late last week, which showed McCabe’s behavior was not only dishonest, but that he lied multiple times under oath to OIG investigators and FBI agents. OIG investigators concluded his repeated lying was calculated and beneficial to him, not the bureau or the agents who work inside of it.

“As detailed in this report, the OIG found that then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lacked candor, including under oath, on multiple occasions in connection with describing his role in connection with a disclosure to the [Journal], and that conduct violated FBI Offense Codes 2.5 and 2.6,” the report states. “The OIG also concluded that McCabe’s disclosure of the existence of an ongoing investigation in the manner described in this report violated the FBI’s and the Department’s media policy and constituted misconduct.”

“McCabe sought to legitimize his actions by falsely claiming that he had told Comey that he authorized the disclosure and that Comey was fine with his decision,” the report continues.

McCabe was caught lying four times, three of them under oath. OIG issued the full report to the FBI “for such action that it deems to be appropriate.” In other words, referred McCabe for disciplinary action to be determined by the FBI and Department of Justice.

This is the ultimate question. Will McCabe face prosecution for lying multiple times under oath to federal authorities? Or will he keep his taxpayer-funded pension after being fired and live happily in retirement as a martyr for the resistance?

If the rule of law matters, McCabe will be prosecuted just as any civilian would be if they lied to the FBI — under oath or not. McCabe not only violated protocol, he broke the law. A refusal to prosecute would not only undermine of the rule of law inside a distrusted agency tasked with enforcing it, but would cut against the hard work of FBI agents truly upholding their oaths.

“Part of effective leadership is about setting an example. Too often, a disregard for accountability in leadership of federal agencies goes unchecked, jeopardizing the integrity of the entire agency. The actions by the line agents and career professionals at the FBI to hold leadership accountable merits our praise,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe peculiar priorities of Adam Schiff Advocates frustrated over pace of drug price reform Trump drug pricing setbacks put pressure on Congress MORE (R-Iowa) said after McCabe’s firing. “Americans deserve honesty from their government, especially from those who work to secure justice.  Lack of candor at any level of the FBI or Justice Department risks more than reputation; it also imperils the confidence needed for the agency to function effectively.  Steps to hold itself accountable will go a long way in restoring faith in the FBI and Justice Department.”

The FBI has a lot of work to do in order to regain trust from the American people. A failure by DOJ to prosecute McCabe would derail current efforts to restore the bureau’s reputation.

Pavlich is the editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.