James Comey Reacts to Possibly Being a Witness in Case Against Andrew McCabe

Former FBI Director James Comey, fired by President Donald Trump, is still making the rounds on his “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership” book tour. He was interviewed Thursday afternoon by CNN’s Jake Tapper on his show “The Lead.”

One of the things Comey was asked about from the get-go was fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. This comes after reports said that the Inspector General (IG) of the U.S. Department of Justice sent a criminal referral regarding McCabe to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

As Law&Crime‘s Ronn Blitzer reported earlier, McCabe being accused of having a “lack of candor” surrounding his involvement in leaks about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation is problematic because “lack of candor” is another way to say “lied.”

Tapper opened the interview by asking about the IG report, asking “If they ultimately bring a case against Andrew McCabe, would you be a witness for the prosecution?”

Comey said that while he didn’t know if the reporting on the IG referral was accurate, even as CNN was reporting it, he said he could be a witness.

“Potentially. I don’t know if the reporting is accurate. I know it’s CNN reporting, but I don’t know it of my own accord, but sure, given that the IG’s report reflects interactions that Andy McCabe had with me and other FBI senior executives, I could well be a witness,” Comey said.

Tapper then asked, in the context of Comey’s book about truth, lies and ethical leadership, about how he felt about then-Deputy Director McCabe allegedly lying to him to preserve his reputation.

“Conflicted. I like him very much as a person but sometimes even good people do things they shouldn’t do,” he said.

Nonetheless, Comey expressed confidence in “accountability mechanisms” to get to the truth, and said “It’s not acceptable in the FBI or the Justice Department for people to lack candor.”

“I don’t know whether there’s a criminal referral, what will happen. That’s part of accountability and examination of what the consequences should be if there’s material lying,” he added.

[Screengrab via CNN]

Matt Naham is managing editor of Law&Crime. He formerly worked as news editor and weekend editor at Rare.

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