WASHINGTON – Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of the most pro-Trump voices in Washington, defended the firing of Andrew McCabe as "wholly justified."
"According to many reports, Inspector General Michael Horowitz determined that McCabe approved improper disclosures ('leaks') to the media, misled investigators about the nature of those leaks, and lacked candor when testifying under oath," Gaetz said in a long statement Monday that stands in contrast to the mostly muted reaction from Florida Republicans.
"While these actions formed the basis for McCabe's termination, there were many other reasons why his firing was well-deserved — including his decision not to recuse himself from the Clinton email investigation until a week before the 2016 presidential election, and his seemingly intentional 'slow-walking' of the Clinton investigation in order to minimize damage to the Clinton campaign," Gaetz said.
"FBI leadership is not above the law, and Mr. McCabe's dishonesty does not uphold the FBI's commitment to fidelity, bravery, and integrity. It is concerning that Mr. McCabe was allowed to stay at the FBI as long as he did. It is also concerning that the FBI has continued to drag its feet on turning over documents to the House Judiciary Committee, and other groups who have requested FBI documents through FOIA requests. In June of 2017, the Justice Department asked the FBI to turn over all of Mr. McCabe's correspondence to the watchdog group Judicial Watch; so far, none of this correspondence has been made available. Furthermore, only around 3,000 FBI documents have currently been made available to the House Judiciary Committee, though approximately 1.2 million documents have been requested. The FBI must turn over these documents quickly and efficiently in order for Congress to exercise its Constitutional oversight authority over the FBI.
"I applaud the brave, hardworking FBI agents who keep America safe. They work tirelessly to serve and protect the United States, and they have my utmost respect. But within the top echelons of the FBI, deep and pervasive corruption has been revealed, and must be weeded out. Corruption must be exposed to sunlight, the best disinfectant, to guard against any further politicization of America's premiere law enforcement agency."