Can Andrew McCabe Get a (Character) Witness?

CNN contributor prepares to face criminal charges

September 17, 2019

CNN contributor and Democratic fundraiser Andrew McCabe, who previously served as deputy FBI director under James Comey, the freak-bodied FBI director who reinvented himself as a social media influencer after President Donald Trump fired him like a dog, is preparing to face criminal charges for lying to federal investigators.

McCabe was also fired like a dog in 2018 after a Justice Department inspector general found he improperly shared with reporters details about the FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation and exhibited a "lack of candor" in multiple conversations with federal agents. McCabe's legal team has already lined up a number of former Obama administration officials to "testify as character witnesses on Mr. McCabe's behalf." Former Obama chief of staff Denis McDonough and former Obama homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco are among those who have reportedly agreed to testify.

The list was initially longer, according to THE POLITICO, a beltway gossip blog located many, many floors beneath the Washington Free Beacon. A report on McCabe's legal defense originally indicated that several top-ranking Obama-era officials were also prepared to testify as "characters witnesses," including former attorney general Eric Holder, former national security adviser Susan Rice, and former intelligence directors John Brennan and James Clapper.

That's quite the squad. Big names, for sure, but not the first ones that come to mind upon hearing the phrase, "character witness." On the other hand, they might field a decent basketball team if they could convince James Comey to start at center. Unfortunately, Comey is more likely to be called as a witness for the prosecution if McCabe's case goes to trial, given that Comey's statements to internal DOJ investigators contradicted his underling's version of events.

In case you'd forgotten, here's a recap:

  • Eric Holder: Held in contempt of Congress for refusing to release documents related to the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal. Appears to have lied under oath during congressional testimony.
  • Susan Rice: Made false claims about the Benghazi terrorist attacks on Sunday talk shows, derailing her bid to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. Sits on Netflix board of directors.
  • John Brennan: Falsely testified to Congress about civilian deaths in CIA drone strikes, CIA spying on members of Congress, and most likely in regard to the CIA's reliance on the infamous Steele dossier. NBC News and MSNBC analyst.
  • James Clapper:  Forced to apologize for giving "clearly erroneous" testimony in Congress about NSA data collection on American citizens. CNN national security analyst.

McCabe's lawyers seemed to realize the folly of putting these individuals on the stand to defend their client's "character." THE POLITICO updated its report, removing their names from the list of potential witnesses after a McCabe spokesman reached out to provide the following clarification:

"The legal analysis provided to Politico last week indicated that Mr. McCabe has obtained commitments from more than a dozen former high-ranking government officials who worked closely with Mr. McCabe on law enforcement and national security matters to testify as character witnesses on Mr. McCabe’s behalf," said a spokesman for McCabe. "An errant version included some individuals who have not committed to serve as character witnesses at trial. We requested that Politico remove those names."

Or maybe it was because Holder, Rice, Brennan, and Clapper just didn't think they could honestly testify to McCabe's good character. Whatever the case may be, it's probably for the best.