After conducting an internal investigation, the Department of Justice reportedly concluded that former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe was not forthcoming with his investigation into how the federal spy agency handled its probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
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“It’s a big deal, because if there’s a finding that he was not forthcoming, as you point out, that’s a big deal within the FBI,” former Whitewater independent counsel Robert Ray told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Thursday. “Agents don’t lie. If agents lie, they are of no use to prosecutors in prosecuting or bringing cases, because they have no credibility. That’s the standard, it applies to line agents and it applies all the way up to the director of the FBI.”
But Ray dismissed calls for an independent counsel to investigate McCabe, saying that until the report is released in its entirety – it’s expected to be made available in the spring – he was uncertain whether an outside investigation was warranted.
The Justice Department, he said, is not incapable of investigating itself, and unless a conflict of interest emerges in the investigation, a special counsel probably wouldn’t be necessary.
However, there are a number of limited occasions when a conflict of interest is truly present, like Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from the investigation into whether Russians interfered in the 2016 presidential election because of his own Russian contacts, he said, adding that the involvement of special counsel Robert Mueller was necessary in that situation.
“But it doesn’t mean that we should get into the habit, and I think that’s been the tendency unfortunately since Watergate, not just at the federal level, but everyplace, whenever there’s a problem, the first thing everyone wants is a special counsel to come in,” Ray said.