FBI Continues to Skirt Court Order to Turn Over McCabe Communications

Judicial Watch says bureau refusal shows contempt for rule of law

For more than two months, the FBI has failed to abide by a judge’s order to turn over all of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s text messages, emails and SMS phone messages to a government watchdog group that has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a former senior FBI special agent. The communications in question are related to McCabe’s wife’s unsuccessful run for Virginia State senate and might also contain invaluable information on McCabe’s role in the Bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server used to send classified information, several former FBI sources and a government official told this reporter.

In January, Judicial Watch, a formidable conservative watchdog group based in Washington D.C., filed a lawsuit against the FBI for the communications on behalf of retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent Jeff Danik. Danik spent more than 28 years with the bureau as a supervisor in the counter-terrorism division and special overseas advisor. Danik filed his original Freedom of

“They have not produced one text of McCabe’s, not one…”

Information Act (FOIA) request in October 2016 for McCabe’s communications. After Danik filed his original FOIA the FBI responded on November 8 and 9, 2016 denying his request. Danik appealed to the Justice Department and in June of 2017 the DOJ wrote that the FBI should search for and turn over any pertinent documents. The FBI still refused to turn over the documents and in January he filed a joint lawsuit with Judicial Watch for the documents.


“They have not produced not one text of McCabe, not one,” said Danik, referencing the bureau. “The government is out of control and it’s astonishing. Do you know what would happen if the government subpoenaed you for information and you didn’t produce records that you had in your possession? You’d go to jail for contempt.”

FBI officials could not be reached immediately for comment.

Michael Horowitz, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice
Michael Horowitz, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice

It’s been months and “the FBI continues to stonewall,” said Danik.

The DOJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz is expected to produce a report before the end of the month on the bureau’s handling of the Clinton investigation and according to IG’s mandate, McCabe is a significant part of that probe. According to several government sources and a former senior law enforcement official McCabe will not only be criticized by Horowitz for authorizing a leak to the Wall Street Journal on October 2016  but has also been under investigation for allegedly intervening to shut down part of the investigation into the Clinton server.

“McCabe had the authority to shut down investigations but if it’s discovered that he stopped an investigation for political reasons based on his own bias that will be a significant problem for him,” said a former senior government official, with knowledge of the investigation.

Danik said McCabe’s communications are essential to unraveling how the bureau’s leadership handled Clinton’s investigation into the former presidential candidate, adding that it is more poignant after text messages between FBI special agent Peter Strzok and his paramour FBI lawyer Lisa Page revealed extreme bias against President Trump in the alleged Russia collusion investigation, as reported earlier. Strzok was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump after the text messages were discovered.

Judicial Watch’s president Tom Fitton expressed concern after his organization uncovered communications showing McCabe, “despite massive contributions from Clinton ally Terence McAuliffe” to his wife Jill McCabe in the 2015 political campaign, did not recuse himself from the Russia investigation until a week before the November 2016 election. It was originally believed that McCabe had recused himself much earlier in the investigation.

“The FBI has been playing games with text messages for some time,” said Fitton. “The arrogance in refusing to provide any text messages of Mr. McCabe shows a contempt for transparency and the rule of law.”

Danik, who spent his career at the FBI building cases, said the failure of the bureau to adequately investigate Clinton’s use of a private server to conduct government business was an “astonishing failure” to the American people and was criticized by many former and current agents.

“If I was allowed to conduct the investigation into who knew what, when regarding the Hillary Clinton email server, I could put that timeline together very quickly,” said Danik, in an earlier interview. “There’s a huge electronic footprint now…in the FBI between text and email and instant messaging. The way that the documents are prepared in the official system. This is a large footprint that is left on an investigation and it can be quickly retrieved. You can tell very quickly the efficiency, the speed at which investigation was taken or not undertaken. I don’t know if they don’t want those records out because it pulls back the curtain and lets you see the framework of these investigations or maybe they are afraid of what it actually says and who it reflects on.”