Jonathan Turley, a left-leaning law professor at George Washington University, explained on CNN Saturday that Andrew McCabe, the now-former deputy FBI director who was fired Friday, should be worried about possibly going to prison, not his government pension.
What did Turley say?
During a lengthy discussion with CNN host Michael Smerconish, Turley immediately dismantled claims that McCabe’s firing was somehow political or that it was done at the direction of President Donald Trump or Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
In fact, as Turley explained, McCabe was fired upon recommendation from the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility. He said:
[McCabe’s firing was] justified in the sense that these were career officials at the Office of Professional Responsibility that made this recommendation which is exceedingly rare. In fact, it is unprecedented for someone in this position. These are not political appointees. The OPR, quite frankly, is not viewed as a particularly aggressive office, so all of that makes this a relatively rare sanction coming from career officers. They clearly concluded that McCabe misled them, and that he misled them on one of the core issues they were investigating, not a collateral issue.
Turley further noted that Department of Justice inspector general Michael Horowitz is insulated from politics like a “Sherman tank,” which is even more evidence the recommendation to terminate McCabe was far from political.
The biggest question moving forward, Turley said, is whether or not there will be a criminal referral for McCabe’s false statements, which is what happened to Michael Flynn.
“What is going to create an issue going forward is whether there will be a criminal referral,” Turley said.
He added: “Michael Flynn was indicted for making a false statement to investigators. Now, it is true that they were looking at him for other crimes as well. But there will be some that will argue, “Why would you indict Michael Flynn but an Deputy FBI Director is just worried about his pension, not prison?'”
Smerconish followed up by asking what was McCabe’s greater “infraction,” lying to Horowitz’s investigators or authorizing a leak to the Wall Street Journal.
Turley was unequivocal. He said lying was McCabe’s greatest sin, just like Flynn. In Flynn’s case, having dialogue with Russian diplomats wasn’t illegal, but rather his dishonesty to the FBI about the meetings was, Turley explained.