Judicial Watch has been a regular at the federal courts in Washington, D.C., in recent months, filing lawsuit after lawsuit over the federal government’s refusal to provide information about the Hillary Clinton email scandal, the “Deep State” attack on the Trump campaign and more under the Freedom of Information Act.
It’s newest action, announced Tuesday, concerns the insider information about fired FBI official Andrew McCabe’s new book.
“McCabe played a central role in Spygate, the Deep State’s effort to spy upon and undermine President Trump,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We aim to find out if McCabe’s book was properly vetted or simply rubberstamped by anti-Trump bureaucrats before being published.”
Members of the United States intelligence community, while they are allowed to write books after their tenure, must obtain the approved by relevant agencies to ensure ongoing work is not compromised.
The government watchdog said the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Justice seeks records of communications between the FBI and McCabe, a former deputy director.
The information concerns McCabe’s book, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump.”
The suit followed an unfulfilled request last February for the information.
It asked for: “All records of communication between the FBI and former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe relating to an upcoming book to be authored by Mr. McCabe and published. All records, including but not limited to forms completed by former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, relating to the requirement for prepublication review by the FBI of any book to be authored by Mr. McCabe with the intent to be published or otherwise publicly available.”
McCabe was fired in March 2018. Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmed the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General concluded “that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor – including under oath – on multiple occasions.”
Sessions said he terminated McCabe’s employment effective immediately because of those conclusions.
The DOJ’s IG said: “As detailed in this report, the OIG [Office of the Inspector General] 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 WSJ [The Wall Street Journal], and that this conduct violated FBI Offense Codes 2.5 and 2.6. 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.”
Judicial Watch said McCabe also is cited in other pending actions. The watchdog has been in court seeking information about anti-Trump FBI special agent Peter Strzok and former CIA Director John Brennan regarding the Trump “coup,” Hillary Clinton’s email scandal and the anti-Trump dossier that was used to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump campaign.
“On February 14, 2019, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit for all records of communication of McCabe, the Office of the Attorney General Jeff Sessions, or the Office of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussing the 25th Amendment or presidential fitness. Additionally, the lawsuit seeks all recordings made by any official in the Office of the Attorney General or Deputy Attorney General of meetings in the Executive Office of the President or Vice President.”
Another case: “In September 2017, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit on behalf of Jeffrey A. Danik, a retired FBI supervisory special agent, against the U.S. Department of Justice for records concerning McCabe. Danik worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation for almost 30 years. Judicial Watch later filed two additional lawsuits over the FBI’s failure to preserve text messages as federal records and for records of the audit of McCabe’s communications.”
Yet another is over records showing McCabe “did not recuse himself from the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unsecure, non-government email server until Tuesday, November 1, 2016, one week prior to the presidential election. McCabe had a serious potential conflict of interest in this investigation because Clinton-aligned political groups donated nearly $700,000 (40 percent of the campaign’s total funds) to McCabe’s wife for her political campaign.”