The identity of one of the key Spygate leakers inside the Department of Justice appears to have been revealed earlier this week, because of a surprise document dump.
The Department of Justice (DOJ), without any advance announcement, suddenly released a bombshell report on Oct. 15. In it, there is a new clue that hints at the identity of the person who executed a big leak of classified information that has led to a criminal investigation, a conviction, and possibly an upcoming exoneration.
Much groundwork was laid over the preceding months explaining the use of “strategic leaking” by top DOJ/FBI officials involved in the expansive Spygate scandal.
In a previous column, I defined “strategic leaking” this way:
“A strategic leak is when a highly placed government official leaks classified or privileged information to the media to obtain a specific politicized outcome. During the course of the past 2 1/2 years, strategic leaking has been used to target, for instance, Gen. Michael Flynn and Trump campaign advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.
“A lot of what is currently being referred to as ‘Spygate’ revolves around government officials using anonymous leaks to place these men under suspicion, so that the FBI and other federal agencies could then act to launch investigations, based on the media reports for which these selfsame officials were the anonymous sources.
“The circular nature of this activity is obvious, and it’s one of the reasons that Spygate is such a growing scandal, as more evidence of these kinds of leaks is made public.”
The general framework of how the strategic leaking was used to start investigations of selected targets has been known for some time. Who the targets were and what was leaked to place them under suspicion has long been a matter of public record.
The next step in the logical progression of the unfolding Spygate drama, after learning who the targets were and what was leaked to allow the investigations to start, would be to learn who the leakers themselves are.
It appears we are now at the point where the evidence can begin to be rolled out into the public arena.
On the morning of Oct. 15, the DOJ released 341 pages from the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility’s report on Andrew McCabe. If you’ll recall, this is the report that resulted in McCabe, then the FBI’s No. 2 official, being summarily fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March of this year.
The official story up until now has been that McCabe was investigated by the inspector general solely for an unauthorized media leak in October 2016 to The Wall Street Journal. That leak exposed a major disagreement between the DOJ and the FBI about how to proceed with the investigation of the Clinton Foundation after the laptop of former Rep. Anthony Weiner, a New York Democrat, was discovered to have thousands of emails related to Hillary Clinton’s private email server used during her time at the State Department. The trove of emails was a result of the device being used for work by Huma Abedin, Weiner’s wife and a close aide to Clinton.
This is what makes the release of the FBI OPR’s report on McCabe so stunning. Right there on page 7, we find that McCabe was also being investigated for making a leak to the media about President Donald Trump and Lt. General Flynn.
For more than a year and a half, since January 2017, the question has been who leaked the classified intelligence report containing the summary of Flynn’s phone calls with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to David Ignatius at The Washington Post.
That leak directly resulted in Flynn being investigated by the FBI and subsequently charged with perjury. Flynn pled guilty and is awaiting sentencing, which is currently scheduled for Nov. 28.
It now appears that the mysterious leaker was very likely to have been McCabe.
Ignatius’s column appeared in The Washington Post on Jan. 12, 2017. Page 7 of the FBI’s OPR report states that someone overheard a conversation in early February 2017, in which it was claimed that McCabe had made a recent unauthorized disclosure to the news media about Flynn and Trump. Then, in March 2017, this report was made to the OPR office and a decision to investigate the claim was approved.
This March 2017 report is being made five months after the leak McCabe made to The Wall Street Journal. So, it’s clear there are at least two separate leaks involved here and the leaks dealt with very different subjects. And this is the first public evidence directly tying McCabe to a leak about Flynn.
Who then did the FBI assign to investigate Flynn about those phone calls to the Russian ambassador? It was none other than former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok, a name that should be well-known to those who follow all the twists and turns of this growing scandal.
It would certainly be a plot twist if it turns out that the deputy director of the FBI illegally leaked classified information to the news media to help trigger an FBI investigation of Trump’s national security adviser, a probe that was run by an FBI agent who’s since been fired for showing politically motivated bias against the president.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.