Former F.B.I. Deputy Director Is Faulted in Scathing Inspector General Report

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department inspector general delivered to Congress on Friday a scathing report that accused Andrew G. McCabe, the former F.B.I. deputy director, of violating the federal law enforcement agency’s media policy and then repeatedly misleading investigators about his actions.

The inspector general found that Mr. McCabe, 50, had lacked candor on four occasions when questioned by investigators and faulted his decision to authorize the disclosure of information to a reporter with The Wall Street Journal in October 2016 as self-serving.

In a point-by-point rebuttal of the report, Mr. McCabe said that he had full authorization to share this information with the news media as deputy director and that he did not intentionally mislead investigators. He also argued that his decision to release information about an investigation into the financial dealings of the Clinton Foundation was justified and in the public’s interest.

Mr. McCabe, a 21-year F.B.I. veteran, was fired in March after Attorney General Jeff Sessions rejected an appeal that would have let him retire with a full government pension.

At the time, Mr. Sessions said that Mr. McCabe had repeatedly shown a lack of candor under oath. Mr. McCabe disputed that, saying his firing was meant to undermine the special counsel investigation being led by Robert S. Mueller III, and to discredit him as a witness.

The report’s release, which had been anticipated for months, comes at a time when the F.B.I. and the Justice Department are under intense scrutiny by Republicans on Capitol Hill and by President Trump for their continuing investigation of possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia. Mr. Trump, who considers the Russia investigation a “witch hunt,” has fumed in recent days after an F.B.I. raid of his personal lawyer’s office and hotel room in New York.

The inspector general’s report also provides the president and his allies with a convenient counterpoint to a new memoir by James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director Mr. Trump fired last May. The book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership,” is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, but details began to trickle out Thursday night, including pointed criticisms of Mr. Trump.

On Friday afternoon, Mr. Trump, who has sought to tarnish the reputation of his investigators, pounced on the report on Mr. McCabe, calling it a “total disaster.”

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