Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was fired last month for committing three violations of the bureau's ethics code, an investigative source told Fox News on Thursday.
The violations initially were uncovered by the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General and confirmed by the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility. They included lack of candor under oath, lack of candor when not under oath, and the improper disclosure of non-public information to the media about the FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
The violations stemmed from McCabe's response to an October 2016 Wall Street Journal report about sizeable campaign donations from Democrats to McCabe's wife, Jill, during her campaign for the Virginia State Senate. The investigation found that McCabe instructed FBI lawyer Lisa Page and FBI public affairs chief Michael Kortan to work with the Journal's reporter to set the record straight.
The source said Page’s statements to investigators were “critical” because they directly contradicted her boss, McCabe.
According to the source, McCabe's lack of candor about the contact with the Journal reporter led to his firing. The source added that Page's testimony about the matter contradicted McCabe's. Then-FBI Director James Comey claimed he never authorized the leak to the Journal.
"Mr. McCabe's interaction with the Wall Street Journal – which by FBI rule and practice he was fully authorized to do – was not done in secret: it took place over the course of several days and others knew of it, including Director Comey. Now, after a failure to justify the process by which Mr. McCabe was terminated with 26 hours to his retirement after more than 21 years of service, it appears that members of the House of Representatives are attempting to selectively and unfairly leak pieces of information from a report that is not public," McCabe's attorney Michael Bromwich told Fox News. "We understand that these members are attempting to create a false narrative that pits former Director Comey against Mr. McCabe. We deeply regret being compelled to respond to this selective leaking with any comment at all. Nevertheless, one thing is clear: Mr. McCabe never misled Director Comey."
Separately, text messages between Page and since-demoted FBI official Peter Strzok indicated that Strzok traveled to London in early August to interview a key witness in the FBI's Russia investigation just days after the probe was opened.
The messages showed the officials were debating what they would share with their Justice Department superiors when Strzok returned to Washington.
"I think we need to consider the lines of what we disclose to DOJ," Strzok texted Page early on the morning of Aug. 3, 2016. "For example, the last stipulation notes we will not disclose."
Less than a week later, the texts suggested a series of high-level briefings began on Capitol Hill and at the White House.
There was no immediate response from the FBI.