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

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeAndrew McCabe's settlement with the Department of Justice is a signal to John Durham Trump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle MORE and other top officials reportedly took steps to preserve memos authored by former Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyCountering the ongoing Republican delusion How Biden should sell his infrastructure bill 'Finally, infrastructure week!': White House celebrates T bill MORE and other key documents related to the Russia investigation over worries that President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania ​​Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't 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 RosensteinWashington still needs more transparency House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week MORE, then deputy attorney general, announced the appointment of Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG 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 SessionsPress: For Trump endorsement: The more sordid, the better Those predicting Facebook's demise are blowing smoke If bitcoin is 'digital gold,' it should be taxed like gold MORE or his successor, William BarrBill BarrHolding defiant Trump witnesses to account, Jan. 6 committee carries out Congress's constitutional role Jan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official Appeals court questions Biden DOJ stance on Trump obstruction memo 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.