October 28, 2016 – Clinton’s personal lawyer David Kendall, emails Baker requesting a call “ASAP” about the Comey letter
“On October 28, 2016, the day that Comey sent a letter to Congress regarding the FBI’s discovery that the Weiner laptop contained Clinton’s emails. Hillary Clinton’s personal lawyer David Kendall, within hours, email’s Baker requesting a call “ASAP” about the Comey letter. Baker describes his follow-up call to senior FBI officials:
“I received the email below from David Kendall and I called him back. Before doing so I alerted DOJ via email that I would do that.
He said that our letter was “tantalizingly ambiguous” and made statements that were “inchoate and highly ominous” such that what we had done was worse than transparency because it allows people to make whatever they want out to make out of the letter to the prejudice of Secretary Clinton.
I told him that I could not respond to his requests at this time but that I would discuss it with others and get back to him.
I suggest that we have some kind of follow up meeting or phone call with this group either this evening or over the weekend to address this and probably other issues/questions that come up in the next 24 hours. Sound reasonable?”
Baker’s heads up on the Kendall call was sent to:
- Then-Director James Comey; since fired;
- Then-Associate Deputy Director David Bowdich, who later replaced Andrew McCabe as deputy director;
- Michael Steinbach, the F.B.I.’s former executive assistant director for national security;
- Then-Assistant Director of Counterintelligence E.W. Priestap, now retired;
- James Rybicki, former chief of staff to Comey;
- FBI intelligence analyst Jonathan Moffa;
- Former Acting Assistant Director Jason V. Herring;
- Michael Kortan, FBI assistant director for public affairs, now retired;
- Former principal deputy general counsel Trisha Anderson;
- Strzok and Page
The emails show that a conference call for the above senior officials was set up for the next day by Peter Strzok. (Two days before the election, on November 6, Comey sent a second letter reporting that the FBI’s review of the Weiner laptop material would not change his “conclusion” that Hillary Clinton should not be prosecuted.) (Judicial Watch, 2/11/2019)
October 26, 2016 – McCabe and other NY FBI officials “got ripped” by Loretta Lynch in a conference call about leaks re Eric Garner
The DOJ OIG report on Andrew McCabe released in February, 2018, describes the following:
McCabe told the OIG that during the October 2016 time frame, it was his “perception that there was a lot of information coming out of likely the [FBI’s] New York Field Office” that was ending up in the news. McCabe told the OIG that he “had some heated back-and-forths” with the New York Assistant Director in Charge (“NY-ADIC”) over the issue of media leaks.
A print version of the article was published in the WSJ on Monday, October 24, 2016.
(…) On October 26, 2016, McCabe and NY-ADIC participated in what McCabe described as “a hastily convened conference call with the Attorney General who delivered the same message to us” about leaks, with specific focus being on leaks regarding the high-profile investigation by FBI’s New York Field Office into the death of Eric Garner. McCabe told us that he “never heard her use more forceful language.” NY-ADIC confirmed that the participants got “ripped by the AG on leaks.”
According to NY-ADIC’s testimony and an e-mail he sent to himself on October 31, McCabe indicated to NY-ADIC and a then-FBI Executive Assistant Director (“EAD”) in a conversation after Attorney General Lynch disconnected from the call that McCabe was recusing himself from the CF Investigation. According to NY-ADIC’s e-mail, McCabe told them “he may make a more formal decision at a later time.” NY-ADIC stated during his OIG interview: “I think [McCabe] couched it as like, hey, this is not final . . . I don’t know, I think he says he still has to talk about it.” NY-ADIC stated that he clarified with McCabe that unless McCabe told him otherwise, NY-ADIC would begin reporting to EAD on the CF Investigation.
McCabe, however, told the OIG that he did not recall such a conversation. He said, “I suppose it’s possible that I may have referred to the concept if that was being discussed generally at the time. But I would not have said to [NY-ADIC], like, I’m thinking about recusing.” (DOJ OIG Report, February, 2018)