Attorneys for former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Tuesday accused the bureau of improperly withholding documents they say are critical to his Senate testimony next month.
In a letter to Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz, attorney Michael Bromwich called for an investigation into why his client was denied the materials.
“The facts and circumstances described in this request for an OIG investigation demonstrate that the FBI has improperly and unjustifiably blocked Mr. McCabe from obtaining access that would refresh and enhance his recollection of matters that occurred several years ago in connection with his upcoming Senate Judiciary Committee testimony,” Mr. Bromwich wrote.
“The FBI’s decisions, likely in consultation with DOJ leadership, violate Mr. McCabe’s rights to be properly prepared to testify under oath, is contrary to fundamental fairness, and as a result works to obstruct and impede the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation.”
Mr. McCabe is scheduled to testify before the panel Oct. 6 as part of its investigation into the FBI’s decision-making in the early stages of its investigation into allegations of collusion between President Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.
He is seeking access to his personal calendars and personal notes from that period, but Mr. Bromwich says the FBI concluded the request was “unmanageably voluminous” and outside the scope of the Russia probe.
When he pushed back, the FBI said the calendars could not be released because they might contain classified material, according to Mr. Bromwich’s letter. Mr. Bromwich disputes that claim.
“Even a cursory check would have demonstrated to the FBI lawyers that the calendars were kept on an unclassified FBI system,” he wrote.
Mr. Bromwich says the FBI has denied the request because Mr. McCabe has a lawsuit pending against the bureau and Justice Department. The lawsuit, filed last year, argues that he was fired in 2018 as an act of political retribution at the behest of Mr. Trump.
In early 2018, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired Mr. McCabe, citing an inspector general report that concluded he misled investigators about the leaks he had made to the press.
The FBI has made a discretionary decision, very likely in consultation with DOJ leadership that has borne animus towards Mr. McCabe for the last three years, and at least in part because of his pending civil litigation against the DOJ and FBI,” Mr. Bromwich wrote.
“An FBI spokeswoman said in a statement that that the bureau “has been, and will continue to be, fully cooperative with the Senate Judiciary Committee.”
“The FBI considers a number of factors when evaluating requests for former employees seeking access to bureau records, including the scope of the request and whether the former employee maintains an active security clearance,” the statement said.
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