Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said Friday that the special counsel’s report on President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents while he was vice president and the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails in 2016 has “nauseating similarities”.
Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report cleared Biden of any criminal charges related to his handling of classified documents. But, Hur—a Trump appointed US attorney—gratuitously slammed Biden’s mental acuity by describing him as a “sympathetic, well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory.”
Hur’s unflattering description of Biden’s mental abilities further fueled Republicans attack on the president’s age and fitness to serve in the middle of a presidential campaign.
“It really felt like it was another instance of a very high-profile investigator who was coming out with a conclusion that he likely knew would not be accepted or embraced by many people and kind of attempting to even out the scales,” McCabe said.
“In other words, to play to the segment of the audience that was going to be frustrated by the fact that he concluded not to pursue charges,” he added. “That’s what it felt like to me.”
McCabe argued that the report echoes of then-FBI Director James Comey’s press conference on July 5, 2016, when he accused Clinton of being “extremely careless” with emails on her private server, but said there was not enough evidence for an indictment.
“I think where we step far over the line and made a mistake was in Jim’s rhetoric clearly criticizing Hillary Clinton but of course not recommending that she be charged,” McCabe said. “The use of those terms was very likely a violation of [Department of Justice] policy, which says you don’t say bad things about someone you say you’re not going to charge.”