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McCabe grilled on FISA Court rebuke of FBI: ‘This wasn’t just sloppiness.’ These were ‘deliberate errors’

(CNN video screenshots)

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In a surprise move, on Tuesday CNN’s Wolf Blitzer scolded disgraced former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for the gross failures that occurred under his and disgraced former FBI Director James Comey’s watch.

There was very serious misconduct on your watch. … The then-FBI director, Jim Comey, he says said it was ‘sloppiness.’ But this wasn’t just sloppiness. These were brutal mistakes, deliberate errors, concealments involving search warrants and surveillance activities of an American citizen,” Blitzer scathingly said right to McCabe’s face.

Listen:

The discussion began with “The Situation Room” host reading from an equally scathing statement issued earlier that day by Rosemary Collyer, the presiding judge of the FISA Court.

Referencing the findings of Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s just-released report into the FBI’s FISA abuses, Collyer slammed the bureau for the “troubling instances” in which its personnel had provided information to the court “which was unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession.”

“It also describes several instances in which FBI personnel withheld from [the court] information in their possession which was detrimental to their case for believing that [2016 Trump presidential campaign adviser Carter] Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power,” the statement continues.

In other words, the FBI essentially lied.

Read the statement below:

Questioned about Collyer’s damning statement,  McCabe immediately trotted out the same excuse offered by Comey earlier in the week, which was that the bureau’s long-established “policies” and “procedures” were to blame.

“Everyone in the FBI who I know and anyone who reads that report is shocked and horrified by what they’ve seen in the recitation of the 17 errors,” he said.

Shocked because we all believed, I certainly believed that the procedures we had in place was enough to guarantee that accurate information was going to the court, and horrified because it cuts against one of our most fundamental duties, and that is to be perfectly accurate and truthful and complete with the court at all times.”

Blitzer must have noted the similarities between what McCabe said and Comey had said because he responded by bringing up Comey’s remarks.

“The then-FBI director, Jim Comey, he says said it was sloppiness,” he noted. “But this wasn’t just sloppiness. These were brutal mistakes, deliberate errors, concealments involving search warrants and surveillance activities of an American citizen.”

McCabe, who’s been Blitzer’s colleague since August, responded by admitting that yes, “serious mistakes” were made, but then turning around and trying to downplay them.

“They were very, very serious mistakes,” he said. “They come into basically two different categories, things that they told the court which were not consistent with what we knew in our own files, and facts that we left out, that we should have told the court.”

I will say, though, that the IG pointed out in his report that he found no evidence that those misrepresentations were intentional. Nevertheless, they are unbelievably serious and something that has obviously gotten the court’s attention as you would expect.”

Blitzer ignored his colleague’s excuses and proceeded to further lay out the case against McCabe and Comey’s disgraced FBI.

“The FISA judge writes that all this, the evidence we now know about, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable,” he said.

“The FBI just responded saying they’re going to take 40 corrective steps to try to deal with this. But if such blunders, if such mistakes can be made — deliberate mistakes in such a high-profile case — you have to wonder what’s going on with lesser high-profile cases involving U.S. citizens.”

Good point.

“If we have exposed, if the IG has exposed shortcomings in the process that ensures accuracy goes to the court, then yes, we need to take a look at all of the FISA work that’s been done,” McCabe replied.

“That is what the court has said, that’s what the IG has already pledged to do. And of course, Director [Christopher] Wray has taken some active steps to start the process.”

Except there’s no “we,” and these weren’t “shortcomings.” The IG, not McCabe and Comey, exposed the gross misconduct that occurred during their watch.

As the discussion approached its conclusion, Blitzer then asked McCabe what he believes was HIS “biggest mistake” at the job.

But instead of taking any personal responsibility, again the disgraced former FBI official resorted to talking about “we,” complaining about the bureau’s “policies” and “procedures” and suggesting that the lowest-level FBI officials were the true culprits.

“The biggest mistake we made, the biggest mistake I think is the process that was in place essentially left so much responsibility on the lowest level of FBI agents and supervisors involved in a process that, once those mistakes are baked in they become very, very hard for the many, many layers of oversight to uncover,” he said. “That’s the thing, if I were Director Wray, that I would focus on.”

But he’s not Wray. He’s a disgraced former FBI operative who was fired from the bureau last year for lying to investigators and now works at CNN.

And fittingly so, or some claim:

Vivek Saxena

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