An ongoing government review of the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation has focused on recently departed FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s role near the end of the 2016 campaign, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
The Justice Department’s inspector general has been asking for months about the timing of the FBI’s decisions about Clinton-related emails on the laptop of disgraced former New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
McCabe, then the second-ranking official at the FBI, “appeared not to act for about three weeks” when some of those emails were requested for examination, the Post reported, citing an undisclosed number of sources familiar with the matter.
According to the Post, the decision in late October 2016 came about three weeks after FBI leadership was alerted to the finding of the emails on Weiner’s laptop. The inspector general has sought to find out whether McCabe or anyone else at the FBI wanted to avoid moving forward on examining the Weiner emails until after Election Day, the report said.
Months after publicly criticizing Clinton while announcing the investigation would end without recommending any charges, then-FBI Director James Comey alerted Congress in late October that the FBI had reopened the investigation into Clinton’s email practices as secretary of state.
Shortly before the election, Comey said the review of the newly discovered emails was complete and that the FBI’s decision not to recommend charges still stood.
Clinton has cited the last-minute FBI decision as contributing to her loss, and in his letter recommending Comey’s firing, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein took issue with Comey’s handling of the probe.
McCabe on Monday announced he would step down, following months of criticism from President Donald Trump and Trump allies.
In an all-employee email following news of McCabe’s departure, FBI Director Chris Wray hinted that the ongoing inspector general probe played a role in McCabe leaving.