Andy McCabe: 'Director Mueller Will Be Impeccably Prepared'

By Susan Jones | July 18, 2019 | 9:53am EDT
Former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe (Photo: Screen capture)

( - Former Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller will be "impeccably prepared" for his five hours in the spotlight next week, says one who knows him.

Former Acting FBI Director Andy McCabe told CNN Thursday morning that he remembers past briefing sessions with Mueller, who was then the FBI Director:

"I remember those sessions, they were kind of legendary. The hallway that led to his office on the seventh floor would be lined on both sides with briefing teams. They would just bring in one team after another on different issues. He would have been given massive three-ring binders of information all of which he had consumed and committed to memory before we came into the room.

"And he was always prepared to kind of grill us and cross examine us on issues that we were talking about. So he is very studious. He's not a verbose and dramatic witness, but he knows his stuff."

McCabe said he doubts Mueller will discuss anything beyond what's in his report. Mueller said that himself -- that he would not go beyond the four corners of the report -- when he briefly spoke to the public after the report came out.

McCabe said one of the more frustrating things [for Democrats and anti-Trumpers] is that Mueller did not say whether Trump would have been charged with obstruction if he were a private citizen instead of the president.

"So if that's the place that Congress wants to get to, there are many, many ways they can get very close to that," McCabe said. "The report outlines at least ten different categories of obstructive activity. In eight of those 10 categories, director Mueller concluded there was significant evidence to support each of the three elements of the offense.

"Were I Congress, I would pick the top three or four areas that they think are most impactful and go through a very deliberate series of questions to get Director Mueller to talk about the evidence that supports each of those elements of the crime."

Host John Berman asked McCabe what he thinks Mueller would say if he's asked, "Does DOJ typically seek to convict subjects of obstruction with evidence like this?"

"I think he'd have to say yes," McCabe replied. "He is a prosecutor by background. He brought cases, tried cases in federal court.

“If you walk him through the evidence on one particular act of obstruction -- say, was there an obstructive act, and he describes one; you say, was there a nexus to a proceeding and he describes it; say, was there intent, and he describes the evidence; and then pose that question to him, it's going to be very hard for him to say that in similar circumstances a person confronting that sort of evidence wouldn't be charged with obstruction.”

Berman asked McCabe, "Won't Democrats jump up and down for joy if they got Director Mueller to say yes, we wouldn't just charge but maybe convict someone?"

"I think it's an enormously significant point, I think it's one that the report comes very close to," McCabe said. "But it's also one the Democrats could elicit from the Director if he's questioned effectively, and that's a very big if."

McCabe said if he were questioning Mueller, "I would pick out those three or four most offensive acts of obstruction with the most solid evidence and make sure that that's communicated in a clear and simple way to everyone watching."

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