Oct 11, 2018, 8:46 AM ET

Fired official Andrew McCabe accuses FBI of stalling his upcoming book

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The fired deputy director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, is accusing his former agency of potentially targeting him unfairly by stalling publication of his much-anticipated book, "The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump."

Based on FBI policy requiring that the FBI have an opportunity to review agency-related information before it's released publicly, McCabe submitted a draft of his book to the FBI more than two months ago, and the book was set to be published in early December. But the FBI has yet to reach a conclusion on McCabe's proposed revelations, so the book's publication date has now been pushed back to February 2019, according to McCabe.

"I am disappointed that we have had to substantially delay the publication date for my book because the FBI's review has taken far longer than they led me to believe it would," McCabe said in a statement to ABC News. "Having been singled out for irregular, unfair treatment over the past year, I am concerned that it could be happening again."

A source familiar with the matter -- an associate of McCabe who was not authorized to speak on the record -- said McCabe's team and FBI officials have exchanged "countless calls and emails," but there is still "zero clarity" about what the source described as a review that "has gone outside of the norms and protocol of pre-publication review."

FBI policy states that in order "to protect national security and ensure the effective enforcement of federal laws," FBI personnel must submit "any proposed disclosure of FBI information" to the agency for approval.

Pre-publication review "in general" is completed within 30 business days, but "additional time may be necessary for sensitive, voluminous, or technical submissions," and, "When a submission contains operational or intelligence matters, it is unrealistic to assume the proposed disclosure will be reviewed within 30 business days," according to an FBI policy guide posted online.

McCabe's former boss, James Comey, announced in November last year that he would be releasing a book, which was then published in late April, nearly six months later. McCabe's book was announced last month, and now it's expected to be published five months later.

Nevertheless, the FBI policy guide states, "If the review requires additional additional time, [the FBI] will provide periodic progress reports and will advise the submitter of the anticipated completion date."

McCabe has not been advised of an anticipated completion date, according to the source familiar with the matter. But in his statement to ABC News, McCabe said, "I am looking forward to sharing my story with the public, and now look forward to doing so in February."

The source familiar with the matter raised the specter that politics could be at play, saying McCabe's team is "concerned that the book delay is due to political anxiety" over recent news reports disclosing that McCabe kept notes of a Justice Department meeting last year in which Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein mentioned the possibility of secretly recording President Donald Trump or trying to remove him from office.

The FBI declined to comment on the suggestion that politics could be holding up McCabe's book, and the agency also declined to comment on the review process at all. The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In recent weeks, Rosenstein's tenure at the Justice Department has appeared to be in peril, but after speaking with Rosenstein earlier this week, Trump insisted the pair "actually get along" and said he was not planning to fire Rosenstein anytime soon.

Three weeks ago, the New York Times first reported that at a May 2017 meeting between Rosenstein and then acting-FBI director McCabe, Rosenstein suggested that someone wear a wire when speaking with the president, according to memos McCabe made of the conversation, sources familiar with them told ABC News. During the meeting, Rosenstein also raised the possibility of using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, two sources familiar with the meeting said.

The meeting took place a week after Trump fired James Comey as director of the FBI.

In a second meeting later in the day, with others present including then-FBI attorney Lisa Page, Rosenstein again raised the idea of putting a wire on someone to record Trump, the sources said. Some in the room left the meeting believing he was joking about the wire idea, but McCabe and Page left the room thinking otherwise, according to the sources.

After news reports of McCabe's memos first surfaced, Rosenstein issued a statement saying, "I never pursued or authorized recording the President and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false."

At the time, McCabe's attorneys issued a statement acknowledging that McCabe "drafted memos to memorialize significant discussions he had with high-level officials," adding that McCabe preserved the memos "so he would have an accurate, contemporaneous record of those discussions." McCabe's attorneys also said that McCabe gave "all of his memos" to Special Counsel Robert Mueller last year, but McCabe "has no knowledge of how any member of the media obtained those memos."

McCabe was fired from the FBI in March after the Justice Department’s inspector general concluded that McCabe misled investigators looking into how Justice Department and FBI officials handled matters associated with the 2016 presidential election. McCabe has defended his actions, insisting he did his best to relay accurate information to those investigators.

Trump has often attacked McCabe as emblematic of political bias within the FBI.

In a statement issued when his upcoming book was first announced, McCabe said, "I wrote this book because the president's attacks on me symbolize his destructive effect on the country as a whole. He is undermining America's safety and security, and eroding public confidence in its institutions. His attacks on the most crucial institutions of government, and on the professionals who serve within them, should make every American stand up and take notice."

At the time, McCabe's publisher, St. Martin's Press, said it expected McCabe's book "to be a seminal record of our times."

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  • sobustedagain

    Review time is a courtesy, not a constitutional right that (no pun intended) trumps free speech. FBI has had reasonable time to review. Give them a publishing deadline and tell them to ignore it at their own peril.

  • molimelight

    Trump's minions needed less than a week to investigate sexual assault allegations against a Supreme Court Justice nominee but they need more than two months to review a book.

  • helicohunter

    This isn't necessarily a conspiracy to silence him. The information in some books may not be all that sensitive, so the review gets done quickly. There may be other cases where serious discussions and investigations are needed to make sure the book won't harm the agency.

  • Weather3014

    He got fired from the FBI for multiple instances of "lack of candor" . Translation: he lied. I am betting they hold on to his manuscript until they can check out every story and you can also bet that if charges are ever brought against McCabe, the contents of this book will be used against him. McCabe is any lawyer's nightmare of a client.

  • MidwestKris

    i wonder if it has something to do with the fact that the midterms are in a month?

  • RededWhiteandBlue

    You can still get your copy of "Liars, Leakers, and Liberals". It's on the NY Times best seller list.

  • vabelle2010

    As a victim of McCabe’s nasty and vindictive actions. He probably wanted to get this book out before he is charged. Because of his retaliation against me for filing an EEO discrimination complaint, I was financially emotionally and physically ruined. I lost my house, the job I loved and my entire savings. I was deemed homeless by Pennsylvania. I had to apply for assistance from Pennsylvania. The damage didn’t stop with me. My family was devastated. McCabe is NOT A VICTIM. He targeted me and other highly competent Counterterrorism & Counterintelligence Agents & Analysts, with policies & laws broken in all of our cases. He was allowed to become the monster he is today & he pushed extremely dedicated & ethical Agents and Analysts out of the FBI for. Myself, Fred Humphries, Mike Dick, Jeff Pelaez, Tim Gill, & so many others. He probably thought he’d get preferential treatment because he thinks everyone loves him. FBI employees had full fledged parties when he was fired. I have no idea how he is explaining the fight on terror & having never been a case agent on any terrorism case. He has only supervised. And flipped out on those of us who had approx 7-9 years working Counterterrorism. It’s from that group that he picked FBI employees to be targeted & destroyed. Vicious retaliation.

    My book will show what it’s like to be an actually real Counterterrorism Special Agent/Supervisory Special Agent. And it will show the McCabe regime dates before he was an SES.

    Andrew,
    You are getting what you deserve. I personally will sit in the courtroom when you are indicted & going through trial. You are a liar & you most certainly are not a victim. You have brought such shame to the FBI. You tried to decide for the American people who should be President. And the best of all is you FAILED.

  • Me again

    Wait isn't that Ford's lawyer with him?

  • Not2pc4U

    Gee who would have thunk, it only took him a weekend to go thru 700,000 emails, reading them from top to bottom, what could be taking so long. I am betting he will be waiting long long time, hell it will give him something to do in Gitmo.

  • flatrock

    McCabe has memos that he wrote to memorialize things other people said, yet he didn't bother creating one when he authorized the leak of information about an ongoing investigation? Wouldn't that be something that should have been written down so that the person he authorized to leak the information couldn't be falsely accused of doing so illegally if the leak were investigated?
    For that matter when it was investigated wouldn't McCabe seek to correct his oversight and take responsibility for a leak he authorized.
    Nah, he made no record, and denied authorizing the leak, leaving his subordinate who had absolutely no legal authority to approve a leak, on the hook for it had the IG believed him. McCabe is a dishonest slime-ball. I wouldn't place much credibility in any book he wrote. But if it doesn't contain obvious inaccuracies (incorrect facts rather than opinions), classified data, or information involving pending cases which he learned about as part of his official capacity, then allow it to be released. Allow him to speak his opinions to any who are willing to listen, but make sure he gets the facts correct.

  • HTD

    Animal Farm 2018? Wonder who plays the role of the meany Big Pig.

  • TexasVulcan

    I say get it published in another country.

  • Wedotoocare

    Shouldn't he be in jail already? Complaining about political bias, isn't that rich?

  • Dennis Finan Jr

    this dude is going to jail. broke every rule you can think of

  • Sharon Vaughn

    Comey had to go through a process by the FBI before his book A Higher Loyalty could be published, to make sure he didn't include anything classified or confidential that could subsequently threaten National security. He understood the process and accepted it. McCabe sounds like he wants to make sure EVERYTHING is out there for the public to see, regardless of how it would effect security. Woodward's "Fear" came pretty close.

  • RettasVegas

    November, we will remember.
    Putin's puppet is going down.
    #GodSpeedMueller!

  • darfut1

    I guess book writing these days are far more profitable than a government pension.

  • CrossfireHurricane

    What is the penalty if the book is released without FBI approval?

  • sixstrings

    I wonder if it has something to do with the criminal referral made by the IG back in April?