Bitcoin Soars $1000 Off The Lows After G-20 Rejects Crypto Crackdown

While advertising bans and Mt.Gox Trustee overhangs remain, the FUD of a possible global regulatory crackdown in the G-20 Communique was a major driver of this weekend’s weakness… until Les Echos confirms FSB has rejected calls for regulation.

After headlines suggesting a global crackdown on cryptocurrencies spooked the markets on Friday, Reuters reports that the global watchdog will pivot more toward reviewing existing rules and away from designing new ones, resisting calls from some G20 members to regulate cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

The reaction was immediate as a relief rally – on heavy volume – sent Bitcoin $1000 higher, erasing Friday’s losses…

Interest in cryptocurrencies surged last year as prices rocketed only to tumble in recent months, triggering warnings from regulators. But in a sign of too little consensus for radical action, Reuters reports that the FSB said more international coordination was needed to plug data gaps in monitoring the rapidly evolving but still tiny sector worth less than 1 percent of global GDP at its peak.

“The FSB’s initial assessment is that crypto-assets do not pose risks to global financial stability at this time,” FSB Chair Mark Carney said in a letter to G20 central bankers and finance ministers who will meet in Buenos Aires on Monday and Tuesday.

All major cryptocurrencies are rallying on the news…

Source: Zerohedge – Bitcoin Soars 00 Off The Lows After G-20 Rejects Crypto Crackdown

The CDC says its missing researcher wasn’t denied a promotion. Police say otherwise.

The Atlanta Police Department was clear: A researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had disappeared the same day he learned why he was passed over for a promotion. But exactly one month after Timothy Cunningham vanished, abandoning everything he would need to survive and leaving no clues about his whereabouts, the CDC issued an unusual rebuke of that police finding.

Source: Blacklistednews – The CDC says its missing researcher wasn’t denied a promotion. Police say otherwise.

Rand Paul: People 'eager for war' shouldn't be running State Department

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Sunday vowed to do “whatever it takes” to block President Trump’s picks for secretary of State and CIA director. “I don’t think you really want people who are eager for war to be running the State Department. You want a diplomat,” Paul said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” explaining why he opposes the nomination of Mike Pompeo.

Source: Blacklistednews – Rand Paul: People 'eager for war' shouldn't be running State Department

Restaurant Patrons Fight Back Against Cop As He Savagely Beats Autistic 12yo Girl “UFC-Style”

A Texas deputy has been fired and charged with multiple crimes after a nightmarish scene unfolded at a barbecue restaurant earlier this month. Restaurant patrons reacted first with shock and then with violence as deputy Jack Danford—unprovoked—attacked an innocent 12-year-old girl with autism as she reached down to pet a puppy.

Source: Blacklistednews – Restaurant Patrons Fight Back Against Cop As He Savagely Beats Autistic 12yo Girl “UFC-Style”

Law Prof: Did McCabe Just Throw Comey Under The Bus For Perjury?

Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe may have just thrown former FBI Director James Comey under the bus – perhaps intentionally.

Recall that McCabe was fired for, among other things, an “improper media disclosure.” In other words leaking. 

In a Saturday morning appearance on CNN with host Michael Smerconish, Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley suggested that McCabe’s statement following his firing “immediately” raised a flag, which may lead to serious consequences for his former boss. McCabe’s statement reads in part: 

The OIG investigation has focused on information I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor. As Deputy Director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the Director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter.

Turley notes “There was one line in the case statement last night that I immediately flagged. Because he said that he had authority to do this and he conferred with the director – the director at the time was James Comey.” 

“Now, the problem there is that James Comey said under oath that he never leaked information and never approved a leak,” said Turley. “So, if the Inspector General believes this was a leak to the media, it raises serious questions about Comey’s previous testimony and could get him into serious trouble.”

This directly contradicts Comey’s statement under oath that “he never leaked information, and never approved a leak.” Turley continued. “So if the Inspector General believes this was a leak to the media, it raises serious questions about Comey’s previous testimony that could get him into serious trouble.”


Law Professor Jonathan Turley: McCabe firing suggests Comey lied to Congress while under oath about ‘never leaking or approving a leak.’
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) March 17, 2018
Turley writes in The Hill:

McCabe is accused of misleading investigators about allegedly giving information to a former Wall Street Journal reporter about the investigation of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton family’s charitable foundation. McCabe asserts in his post-firing statement that he not only had authority to “share” that information to the media but did so with the knowledge of “the director.” The FBI director at the time was Comey. -The Hill

Turley continues: 

If the “interaction” means leaking the information, then McCabe’s statement would seem to directly contradict statements Comey made in a May 2017 congressional hearing. Asked if he had “ever been an anonymous source in news reports about matters relating to the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation” or whether he had “ever authorized someone else at the FBI to be an anonymous source in news reports about the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation,” Comey replied “never” and “no.”

Former FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker said on Friday that the upcoming OIG report will contain some “pure TNT,” whenever it comes out – which should shed more light on the FBI’s transgressions surrounding the 2016 U.S. election. 

The timing of McCabe’s statement and Comey’s apparent perjury comes at an inconvenient time for the former FBI director, who’s selling $100 tickets to attend stops on his upcoming book tour to promote: “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.”

As Turley notes, “If he gave McCabe the green light for his “interaction,” the title could prove embarrassingly ironic.”

Source: Zerohedge – Law Prof: Did McCabe Just Throw Comey Under The Bus For Perjury?

India And Pakistan: Inching Toward Their Final War?

Authored by Mohammed Ayoob via National Interest,

Both India and Pakistan have between 120 and 140 nuclear warheads, according to estimates provided by the Arms Control Association. However a report produced in 2015 by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center asserts that Pakistan may be outpacing India in terms of its nuclear stockpile, and may possess 350 nuclear warheads in the next five to ten years. A 2016 SIPRI report confirmed the assessment that Pakistan has more nuclear warheads than India.

However, what distinguishes the two neighbors’ nuclear-weapons programs from each other is not so much the pace of production or the size of the stockpiles, but their radically different nuclear doctrines.

The major difference between the two countries’ nuclear doctrines is that while India has renounced first use of nuclear weapons, Pakistan has refused to do so by reserving its right to use nuclear weapons in the face of India’s conventional superiority.

So far, uncertainty regarding Pakistan’s nuclear threshold is the principal factor preventing a major conflagration in South Asia. Pakistan’s refusal to disavow first use of nuclear weapons, and its emphasis on amassing tactical nuclear weapons and short-range missiles as a corollary of its nuclear doctrine, can be explained in light of its conventional-force inferiority vis-à-vis India. It is in fact a mirror image of the American nuclear doctrine as applied to central Europe during the Cold War. The United States refused to disavow first use of nuclear weapons, and deployed tactical nuclear weapons in central Europe on a large scale, because of NATO’s presumed inferiority in terms of conventional power vis-à-vis that deployed by the Warsaw Pact.

But for Pakistan, the uncertainty introduced by its nuclear doctrine has achieved another major objective as well. It has provided Pakistan with the shield behind which terrorist groups armed and trained by Islamabad, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad, can engage in acts of terror that create mayhem not only in Indian-administered Kashmir but also in other parts of India. The fear of escalating a conflict with Pakistan to the nuclear level has prevented India from retaliating to these provocations with the massive use of its superior conventional force.

India desisted from retaliating against terrorist bases or Pakistani military installations even when a massive terrorist operation launched from Pakistan targeted India’s financial capital, Mumbai, in November 2008. This attack lasted for more than sixty hours and left at least 174 people dead.

However, it seems that the logic of this deterrence is fast eroding. Attacks such as the one in Mumbai, and subsequent assaults on Indian military installations in Kashmir and elsewhere, have also provided justification for India’s hard-line Hindu nationalists to heighten anti-Pakistan rhetoric, and putting pressure on the Indian government to intensify its military response. In the past few months, Indian retaliatory attacks have targeted not only terrorist bases but also Pakistani military facilities, causing significant casualties among Pakistani forces.

The escalation in the last two years in terror attacks, especially by Jaish-e-Muhammad, with the obvious connivance of the Pakistan army, on Indian military targets in Kashmir and surrounding Indian states has made the situation very perilous. In the past several months, terrorist groups operating from Pakistan have undertaken several such major attacks, causing significant loss of life among Indian security forces.

A major terrorist attack on the Uri camp in Jammu and Kashmir in September 2016, which left seventeen military personnel dead, motivated the Indian government to reassess its strategy for responding to such attacks. On September 29, 2016, India launched its first publicly acknowledged “surgical strike” against terrorist bases in Pakistan. Although there had been speculation that India had conducted such strikes earlier as well, this was the first admission by New Delhi that it was ready to launch major retaliatory attacks against targets in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

In the latest incident, in February 2018, Jaish terrorists attacked an Indian military camp in Jammu; five army personnel and four militants were killed. In retaliation, the Indian army destroyed a Pakistani army post with the help of rocket launchers, killing, according to Indian sources, twenty-two Pakistani personnel. This tit-for-tat exchange is reaching dangerous proportions.

So far, the Pakistani military has downplayed Indian incursions and retaliatory attacks and refused to recognize their seriousness, because it does not want to appear weak in the eyes of the Pakistani public, which is then likely to clamor for revenge. However, the Pakistani military cannot continue to downplay Indian attacks, especially in light of the increasing fatalities. There is the danger that at some point, either by miscalculation or by design, an Indian surgical strike in Pakistani territory will push the Pakistani military—which controls the nuclear weapons—to retaliate in force.

If a full-scale war erupts, at some point Pakistan, unable to counter superior Indian conventional forces, could resort to battlefield nuclear weapons, as its doctrine proclaims. While India subscribes to a no-first-use doctrine, it has made it abundantly clear that it will massively retaliate against any use of battlefield nuclear weapons by Pakistan without making a distinction between tactical and strategic nuclear weapons. This strategy, as enunciated in a statement issued by the government of India on January 4, 2003, is designed to inflict unacceptable damage on the enemy.

Former Indian national security advisor Shivshankar Menon elaborated this strategy in his memoirs:

“India would hardly risk giving Pakistan the chance to carry out a massive nuclear strike after the Indian response to Pakistan using tactical nuclear weapons. In other words, Pakistani tactical nuclear weapon use would effectively free India to undertake a comprehensive first strike against Pakistan.”

This is a very scary scenario. Pakistan’s overreliance on its nuclear deterrence, especially its refusal to subscribe to the no-first-use doctrine, when combined with its reckless support for terrorist groups attacking Indian military and civilian targets, could unintentionally usher in a nuclear winter – and spell doom not only for South Asia, but for a much wider area surrounding the subcontinent.

Source: Zerohedge – India And Pakistan: Inching Toward Their Final War?

And The US Town With The Highest Average Income Is…

A few days ago, we published a Property Shark analysis of the wealthiest zip codes in America, and found that – to our complete lack of surprise – the wealthiest towns are clustered around the Bay Area and New York City A, attend their own schools, shop at their own stores and live in their own exclusive enclaves of wealth.

While those data were largely anticipated, that study also showed that midwestern and even some southern areas had seen remarkable gains.

The same pattern applies to Property Shark’s latest study, which ascertained the wealthiest zip codes in the country by median income. Contrary to what one might expect, PS found that most of the nation’s 100 most expensive zip codes were on the West Coast, while most of the wealthiest 100 zip codes were on the East Coast.

The ultimate takeaway from these data are that, as one might expect, being able to afford an expensive home doesn’t necessarily mean a wealthy family will buy one. After all, frugality is inevitably one of the traits that helped them accumulate wealth.

* * *

The East Coast Dominates The Light Of High-Earning Zips Codes

Of the nation’s top 100 earning zip codes, 70 are located on the East Coast…

Predictably, there are two areas where most zip codes are clustered: The Northeast with 48 zip codes, and the suburbs around Washington DC, with 28 spots in the top 100.

Going by state, the ranking of the most expensive zip codes for housing was dominated by California, with 77 spots on the list. However, the picture changed drastically when PS looked for the highest-earning zip codes. By that measure, Cali only took 17 spots in the top 100, while New York led with 20 codes. Of those, 8 are located in Manhattan. Most of the others cover well-established communities in Westchester County.

Maryland and Connecticut trail New York and California, each claiming 10 spots in the ranking. New Jersey and Virginia follow, further strengthening the East’s dominance, thanks to the D.C. suburbs. Washington, DC itself only managed to claim 1 spot in the ranking.

Unlike the list of priciest zip codes for home prices, the by-income scale is more heterogeneous, with 15 states taking spots on the list. Virginia, Washington DC, Delaware, Illinois, Texas, and Pennsylvania were all absent from the top 100 most expensive zip codes, but they were present in the homeowner income ranking.

* * *

Here’s Where Zip Codes With $250k+ Income Stand In Terms Of Home Prices

The first 11 highest-earning zip codes all feature a yearly median household income of over $250,000. New York leads with 5 of the 11 zip codes that feature top-bracket median incomes, followed by California with 4 zip codes. Of the top 11 zip codes by median income, the highest ranked based on median sale price is 10013 in Manhattan, which took the 2nd spot.

On the other hand, San Diego’s 92145 did not even make the cut in the 100 priciest zips for housing, although the median income here exceeds $250,000. The median price here clocked in at $1,332,500, not enough to secure it a spot in the top 100. Furthermore, 2 of the 11 zip codes have median sale prices well below $1 million—Chappaqua’s 10514 and Chicago’s 60603. In zip code 60603, the median sale price recorded in 2017 was $495,000 and, with a median gross income of over $250,000, it stands out as the market with the smallest gap between median price and income.

Check out Property Shark’s interactive map here:


Source: Zerohedge – And The US Town With The Highest Average Income Is…

Trump Asked Saudi King For $4 Billion So US Troops Can Leave Syria

The Washington Post has revealed that President Trump attempted to extricate US troops from Syria by asking ally Saudi Arabia to foot the bill for postwar reconstruction and “stabilization” projects in the area of northeast Syria currently occupied by US coalition forces, to the tune of $4 billion. The deal would involve US allies like Saudi Arabia moving into a lead position regarding coalition policy in Syria, while hastening a US exit.

Though the coalition continues to claim that its occupation of Syrian soil is toward anti-terror and humanitarian efforts, including the reestablishment of civilian infrastructure in a region previously controlled by ISIS, America’s top general, CENTCOM chief Gen. Joseph Votel, admitted in congressional testimony this week that the Syrian government along with its Russian and Iranian allies have effectively won the war.

General Votel’s very frank admissions on Syria stunned hawks like Senator Graham, who were looking for more muscular policy goals. The Washington Post summarized this part of the exchange as follows: 

[A]sked on Tuesday in a Congressional hearing if Bashar al-Assad had “won”, Gen. Joseph Votel, head of US Central Command, replied, “I do not think that is too strong of a statement. I think [Russia and Iran] have provided him with the wherewithal to be ascendant at this point.”

Senator Lindsey Graham asked Votel, “And it is not your mission in Syria to deal with the Iranian-Assad-Russia problem?” Graham asked Votel. “That’s not in your ‘things to do,’ right?”

The general replied, “That’s correct, senator.”

Votel declined to say whether he believed the US military should pursue that broader objective. And asked whether it was still policy that Assad must leave power, Votel said: “I don’t know that that’s our particular policy at this particular point. Our focus remains on the defeat of ISIS.”

However, US policy does remain fundamentally aimed at preventing Assad and his allies from reasserting control over oil and resource rich northeast Syria, and this is where Trump reportedly envisions the Saudis as having a greater role to play, taking the pressure off US forces.

According to the Washington Post the deal was articulated by Trump directly to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman in a December phone call. The Post reports:

In a December phone call with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, President Trump had an idea he thought could hasten a U.S. exit from Syria: Ask the king for $4 billion. By the end of the call, according to U.S. officials, the president believed he had a deal.

The White House wants money from the kingdom and other nations to help rebuild and stabilize the parts of Syria that the U.S. military and its local allies have liberated from the Islamic State. The postwar goal is to prevent Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian partners from claiming the areas, or the Islamic State from regrouping, while U.S. forces finish mopping up the militants.

But missed (or more likely deliberately ignored) by the Post reporters is the central irony that Saudi Arabia could possibly “stabilize” anything in Syria at all. As the New York Times concluded in a lengthy investigation over the kingdom’s role in fueling the rise of ISIS and directing the broader jihadist insurgency in Syria, the Saudis are “both the arsonists and the firefighters” in Syria and throughout the region.

Revelation of the $4 billion proposed deal comes as Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is set to arrive in Washington on Monday for high level talks with US officials, including a Tuesday meeting with President Trump. The Saudi Embassy in Washington refused to comment on the offer, and neither side has yet confirmed or denied that a deal was reached or is in the works.

Last month the US announced a mere $200 million pledge toward reconstruction efforts in Syria – a paltry sum (considering total rebuilding costs have been widely estimated at $200-350 billion) perhaps intended to highlight the need of other countries to share in the burden. The Washington Post continues:

For Trump – who has long railed against insufficient burden-sharing by allies under the U.S. security umbrella – getting others to foot the bill for expensive postwar efforts is important. A $4 billion Saudi contribution would go a long way toward U.S. goals in Syria that the Saudis say they share, particularly that of limiting Assad’s power and rolling back Iran’s influence. By comparison, the United States last month announced a $200 million donation to the stabilization effort.

The more simple translation of Trump’s message to the Saudis seems to be something like this: “Our occupation of Syria is costly. If you don’t want Assad and Iran to regain the whole country, then you’re invited to take over the occupation yourselves.” 

Judging by Trump’s recent maneuvers with the Saudis and CENTCOM chief Votel’s congressional testimony, it appears we are in for more long, painful mission creep and perpetuation of the illegal occupation of Syria with no end in sight. 

Source: Zerohedge – Trump Asked Saudi King For Billion So US Troops Can Leave Syria

"The Only Full Fridge In Venezuela Is In The Morgue": Tomas Paez

Authored by Sabrina Martin via,

Sociologist Tomas Paez argues that the disastrous socialist public policy of Chavez and Maduro has been the primary factor in the massive exodus from Venezuela.

“The main cause of Venezuelan emigration is socialism of the 21st century,” said sociologist Tomás Páez, coordinator of the Global Project of the Venezuelan Diaspora; responding to Nicolás Maduro’s comments admitting to a “brain drain” in the country.

The Venezuelan dictator said on Wednesday, March 14, there existed a massive “brain drain” in Venezuela, and also confessed that the diaspora is seeking to “improve their life abroad.”

“There are some young people who have left Venezuela with the idea of improving their life abroad. It’s okay, go and come back because they will not find a better country than Venezuela,” said Maduro.

But Maduro conceals that most migrants are doing so to escape the dictatorship and its disastrous consequences.

“The Cause of Venezuelan Emigration is Socialism”

According to studies of the Global Project of the Venezuelan Diaspora, since Hugo Chávez and his successor Maduro came to power, more than three million citizens have decided to leave Venezuela. The main causes, it says, are insecurity, impunity, and of course, the unprecedented economic crisis.

In an interview, the sociologist Tomás Páez explained the reasons for this massive exodus and explained why “migration is always good.”

What are the main reasons why Venezuelans have decided to leave their country?

There are two fundamental reasons that are summarized in the following sentence: the only full refrigerator in Venezuela is in the morgue. This phrase summarizes the two main problems facing Venezuelans: insecurity and economic deterioration.

This is fueled by the great problem that is the socialist model that was installed in Venezuela and that has destroyed the country.

When we asked Venezuelans if they were willing to return, the majority answered yes, but not in these conditions.

The Venezuelans we interviewed responded that in order to return to their country it would be necessary to change the political model and that the country need prioritize the right to property and the most important thing of all: the right to life.

What do Venezuelans look for when they leave their country?

Venezuelan migration has more or less repeated the same pattern of all Latin American emigration. The desired destinations offer greater freedom and development: generally those in the north, such as the United States, Canada, and countries of the European Union.

However, in recent years, due to the economic failure of Venezuela, which has impoverished 87% of the population, it has become impossible to buy plane tickets to those northern countries, so now the migrants decide to go by land and reach countries such as Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Panama and even by sea, to the Caribbean islands.

I give the example of a university professor who earns between 5 and 7 dollars a month; a university professor in Venezuela would have to work between 15 and 18 years without stopping to buy a plane ticket; that’s why now they emigrate by bus, on foot, or by boat.

What is the economic profile of Venezuelan migrants?

From Venezuela, more and more people of lower socioeconomic status are leaving, but, above all, it remains working professionals.

Most of the Venezuelan society has been impoverished, except those who have done business with the Chavez and Maduro regimes; all others have become impoverished.

“A university professor in Venezuela would have to work between 15 and 18 years without stopping to buy a plane ticket”

Impoverished people are leaving, but most of them have studied at the college level, but with their salaries in Venezuela, they can’t even buy a bicycle. The migrants are young entrepreneurs with a high level of academic training.

There are three million Venezuelans distributed in 90 countries in more than 300 cities in the world today.

What are the consequences of this massive exodus from Venezuela?

I must emphasize that for the government there is no diaspora. The regime does not disclose emigration statistics. All the information we obtain, therefore, we do with the help of other countries.

We go to Venezuelan organizations throughout the world, to researchers from different universities, because currently, the Maduro regime hides the records, so that they can deny what is happening.

” Those who have left have been able to develop their skills, learn, and make new contacts”

In Venezuela, there is no brain drain as the government says. If those people had stayed in the country, they would not have jobs or access to technology or research. There would be no possibility to study.

Although all socialism generates a diaspora, fortunately, those who have left have been able to develop their skills, learn, and make new contacts,

What is your impression in relation to the migratory policies followed by countries such as Peru, Colombia, Argentina, etc?

Every time I can, I thank all these countries for the aid they are giving to Venezuelans. They are nations that have understood the situation and have assumed that migration is always good.

How do you explain to the world the contention that migration “is always good”, especially at a time when xenophobia is increasing?

Emigration is not just about people; these people also represent knowledge and investment. The countries that have grown the most economically for decades did so because of the great contribution of migrants. As occurred in Venezuela in the late 70s, or with countries like the United States that are full of migrants.

“Migration adds value, knowledge, and skill.”

For example, in Europe rice companies grew by 300% thanks to the arrival of migrants who consumed much of that product. It is a chain; the migrants began to demand rice and then their subsequent sales grew: that impelled the production and the hiring of new workers for cultivating and harvesting rice. Migration adds value, knowledge, and skill.

Source: Zerohedge – "The Only Full Fridge In Venezuela Is In The Morgue": Tomas Paez

McCabe Gave Interview, Handed Over Trump Memos To Mueller

Update: Well, just as Comey had a personal “leaker” to deliver his Trump-memos to the NYT, so McCabe had found a quick line of communication to the press involving “confidential” matters surrounding the Mueller probe, and Axios reports, McCabe has met with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and has turned over memos detailing interactions with President Trump, “according to a source familiar with the exchange.”

Axios’ source reveals that the memos include corroboration by McCabe of Comey’s account of his own firing by Trump, as well as an account of at least one in-person meeting with Trump, which however considering McCabe was fired for perjury – among other things – may not carry quite as much weight.

McCabe had previously alluded to the memos in the statement after his firing, in which he said: “My testimony to the House Intelligence Committee revealed that I would corroborate former Director Comey’s accounts of his discussions with the President.”

* * *

After former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was fired by the Justice Department late on Friday night just two days before his retirement, because he lied under oath or as AG Sessions said, McCabe “lacked candor – including under oath – on multiple occasions… all FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal”, McCabe has decided he won’t go down quietly in what he has dubbed the Trump administration’s “war on the FBI.”

McCabe, who briefly led the agency after Director James Comey was fired, said his dismissal by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday night was the latest attack on his credibility. He has claimed he’s being singled out because of what he witnessed in the aftermath of Comey’s ouster.

Of course, some – such as ethics officials belonging to the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility – beg to differ: after all it was they who recommended McCabe’s dismissal on Thursday for lying to the Inspector General in the course of a government investigation. As CBS News  justice correspondent Paula Reid noted, McCabe’s termination takes place just days before the highly anticipated release of the Inspector General’s report which is expected to show that he leaked information with the media about the agency’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation, and lied under oath.

McCabe has pushed back hard, saying his firing is yet another attempt by the administration to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election process, and allegations that Mr. Trump’s campaign colluded with those efforts. In a statement, McCabe wrote that he was, “being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey.”

McCabe said in his statement that the inspector general’s report was fast-tracked after he told the House Intelligence Committee he would corroborate Comey’s accounts of conversations he had with the president. Comey has testified that Trump asked if he would end an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

McCabe also spoke directly about the ongoing Russia investigation in his statement (full statement below):

“It is part of this administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the special counsel investigation, which continue to this day,” McCabe said. “Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the special counsel’s work.”

But what about the report by the “independent and impartial” Inspector General, which remember was launched after Democrats forced the DOJ IG to open an investigation into handling of Clinton email investigation… or in other words, McCabe was fired  because of 1) an IG investigation demanded by Democrats that was  2) directed by an Obama IG appointee resulted in 3) a recommendation from the FBI’s ethics office that McCabe be terminated.

Well, in a phone interview with CBS News’ senior investigator producer Pat Milton, McCabe said he rejected the findings in the (Inspector General’s) report, calling it “misleading and unfair.” Obviously.

“I strongly believe this is the latest chapter in a yearlong attack on my credibility and service to the country,” McCabe said. 

Well that, or simply the facts are finally coming out, and until refuted, they confirm the corruption, party bias and cronyism that many had said is prevalent at the FBI.

As for the full OIG report due any day now, recall that the former FBI assistant director Chris Swecker said that it will contain “some pure TNT”, so that’s something else to look forward to as the public decides if the yearlong attack on McCabe’s credibility – which started with the WSJ’s October 2016 report that a “Clinton Ally Aided Campaign of FBI Official’s Wife” – is justified.

Ex-FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker puts Comey & McCabe on notice: ‘Some pure TNT’ will come out in the Inspector General report.
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) March 16, 2018
McCabe also said that “to have my career end in this way, and to be accused of lacking candor when at worst I was distracted in the midst of chaotic events, is incredibly disappointing and unfair. But it will not erase the important work I was privileged to be a part of, the results of which will in the end be revealed for the country to see.”

Some, like the president, would disagree.

Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2018
* * *

So what are McCabe’s next steps?

Well, it appears the former deputy director will not go down without a fight, and as the Daily Beast reports, McCabe has lawyered up, hiring Michael Bromwich of the Bromwich Group, who confirmed to The Daily Beast that he is “representing McCabe for the purposes of the matter that led to his firing.”

This certainly suggests that McCabe will sue the administration for firing him for political reasons, with some in the press already salivating what discovery will reveal about Sessions, Trump and everyone else in this growing conflict.

Still, that McCabe is retaining counsel is not surprising. What is, however, and may add a potential twist to this latest battle between Trump and the FBI, is that according to the AP, McCabe kept personal memos regarding Trump that are similar to the notes compiled by dismissed FBI chief James Comey detailing interactions with him, which could become a key part of evidence in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe.

The AP notes, that it was not immediately clear whether any of McCabe’s memos have been turned over to special counsel Robert Mueller, whose criminal investigation is examining Trump campaign ties to Russia and possible obstruction of justice, or been requested by Mueller.

McCabe’s memos include details of interactions with the president, among other topics, according to an AP source “with direct knowledge of the situation who wasn’t authorized to discuss the memos publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.” As Bloomberg adds, Mueller has shown interest in McCabe’s interactions with the president, though Comey’s conversations might more squarely fit into a possible obstruction of justice case.

The disclosure came hours after Trump called McCabe’s firing by Attorney General Jeff Sessions as a “a great day for Democracy.”

* * *

Below is Andrew McCabe’s full statement (link):

Source: Zerohedge – McCabe Gave Interview, Handed Over Trump Memos To Mueller