SPONSORED:

FBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeHillicon Valley: CEOs of Google, Facebook and Twitter to testify before Senate | European Union police agency warns of increase in cybercrime | Twitter to remove posts hoping for Trump's death Graham officially schedules hearing on Trump's Supreme Court pick to start Oct. 12 The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump eager to leave the hospital MORE and other top officials reportedly took steps to preserve memos authored by former Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump has list of top intelligence officials he'll fire if he wins reelection: report Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Trump remarks put pressure on Barr MORE and other key documents related to the Russia investigation over worries that President TrumpDonald John TrumpFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought '9/11 attack was 7/11 attack' MORE would interfere in the probe, CNN reported Thursday.

In the days following Comey's ouster in 2017, McCabe reportedly thought that President Trump's decision to remove the FBI director was problematic and, as the then-acting director of the agency, instructed his team to open a criminal case, according to an adapted excerpt from CNN legal analyst Jeffery Toobin's book, "True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump."

Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinTrump turns his ire toward Cabinet members Ex-deputy attorney general says Justice Dept. 'will ignore' Trump's threats against political rivals The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump's erratic tweets upend stimulus talks; COVID-19 spreads in White House MORE, then deputy attorney general, announced the appointment of Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE to oversee the Russia probe later that May, eight days after Comey's firing. Robert Mueller and his team carried out an investigation into whether the Trump campaign during the lead up to the 2016 election, colluded with Russia to help Trump get elected. 

ADVERTISEMENT

McCabe, fearing that he would not last at the agency given the tumultuousness of the moment, then acted to preserve Comey's memos detailing his conversations with Trump as well as other related documents on the FBI's internal system, thus ensuring that they could not be destroyed, according to CNN.

Other officials sent documents including the memos to remote locations throughout the FBI, according to CNN, with the goal of preserving them to be shared at a later date. 

The move by McCabe and other FBI officials to preserve the probe's evidence came as the White House frequently denied over the course of Mueller's investigation that Trump had ever seriously considered ordering former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsBiden fact checks Trump on 545 families separated at border, calls policy 'criminal' Harris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump's erratic tweets upend stimulus talks; COVID-19 spreads in White House MORE or his successor, William BarrBill BarrPolice accountability board concludes that Seattle police officers used excessive force during encounters with protesters Trump hasn't asked Barr to open investigation into Bidens, McEnany says Seattle, Portland, NYC sue Trump administration over threat to pull federal money MORE, to end the probe.

Trump frequently denounced McCabe and other top FBI officials over Twitter before McCabe was dismissed from the bureau in 2018, days before he would have been eligible to collect his entire early pension.

"Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI - A great day for Democracy," he wrote at the time of McCabe's ouster.

The Russia investigation headed up by Mueller resulted in charges against numerous Trump allies for a variety of crimes ranging from lying to investigators to bank and tax fraud. The president himself was never ultimately formally accused of a crime.

In the months after McCabe's firing, the Justice Department announced an investigation into whether or not he lied during interviews with investigators about disclosures to the news media. The department ultimately decided not to charge him with a crime.