The U.S. Department of Justice's inspector general released a report on Friday concluding that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe misled investigators about a decision to break with the agency's standard policy and inform a journalist about a probe into the Clinton Foundation in 2016.
It was just last month when then FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was sacked just days before he was set to retire and collect his pension.
President Donald Trump had accused McCabe of bias, and the president's critics said McCabe was being fired as part of a Republican effort to discredit a federal probe into alleged ties between Russian Federation and the Trump presidential campaign.
"McCabe was totally controlled by Comey - McCabe is Comey!", Trump tweeted on Friday in reference to the report on McCabe. Subsequently, McCabe led FBI Director James Comey to believe that he had not approved such media disclosures.
McCabe also wrote a dramatic op-ed for The Washington Post in which he again denied that he lied or misled investigators, and talked about the humiliation he had undergone over the probe and way he was sacked. McCabe disputes that finding, saying that he had full authority to disclose such information. The report says that McCabe "lacked candor" in a conversation with Comey when he said that he had not authorized the disclosure and didn't know who did. "No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!"
McCabe said he was authorized, as deputy director, to disclose information about the August 2016 call.
According to the report, the reporter told FBI officials he had heard that McCabe had given an order to "stand down" on the investigation ahead of the 2016 presidential election, which was days away.
Donald Trump and the White House are trying to use the McCabe report to damage James Comey and paint the two as "peas in a pod", in the words of press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Mr McCabe's lawyer said in a statement his client was unfairly treated and the inspector general rushed to finish the report before he could retire. It was Mr McCabe's word against Mr Comey's, and the inspector general sided with the latter.
The president has made a concerted and Twitter-driven effort to impugn Mr McCabe as a partisan hack, accusing him of covering up unspecified "lies and corruption" at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and calling his firing a "great day for Democracy".
The article claimed McCabe had ordered the termination of the Clinton Foundation investigation due to Department of Justice pressure.