Ex-FBI No. 2 official Andrew McCabe faces prospect of criminal charges

DOJ Rejects McCabe's Arguments That He Shouldn't Be Charged

He was sacked in March 2018, just hours before he was due to retire, after the department issued a report saying he misled investigators with the Inspector General's office who were trying to determine whether he improperly shared information with a Wall Street Journal reporter for an October 2016 story that described internal debates roiling the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department weeks before the presidential election about how aggressively the Clinton Foundation should be investigated.

McCabe is a CNN contributor.

According to USA Today, McCabe's attorneys had asked the Justice Department's principal deputy attorney to overrule the recommendation by federal prosecutors that charges be brought. Whitaker, citing his experience as a U.S. Attorney, former chief of staff to Jeff Sessions and former Acting Attorney General, said that he "ha [s] not seen a DAG appeal be successful", and argued that the meetings with DAG Rosen suggest McCabe is " imminently going to be charged".

McCabe's team was notified of Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen's decision in a message Wednesday, which said, "The Department rejected your appeal of the United States Attorney's Office's decision in this matter".

The Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, which would prosecute the case, both declined to comment.

The article recounted a particularly tense phone call between McCabe and a senior Justice Department official about the investigation.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) previously released a 39-page report that concluded McCabe "lacked candor" (lied) or "knowingly provid [ed] false information in a verbal or written statement".

McCabe sued the Justice Department last month, arguing that he was improperly fired for his refusal to "pledge allegiance" to Trump.

The potential charges relate to McCabe's allegedly misleading FBI investigators about his role in the leaking of classified information related to the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

His termination came 10 months after the firing of FBI Director James Comey, who at the time was leading the bureau's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election and whether anyone associated with President Donald Trump's campaign conspired in the operation.

McCabe has been a target of Trump's attacks since news emerged in the fall of 2016 that McCabe's wife had accepted campaign contributions from a political action committee associated with former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Clinton ally, during an unsuccessful run for the state Senate. He was terminated 26 hours days before he was able to retire with full benefits, in what McCabe called unfair retaliation.

The report also said McCabe lacked candor on May 9, 2017, when he was questioned under oath about the leak.

While Attorney General William Barr has authorized several investigations into the origins of the Russian Federation probe, McCabe would be the first senior official to face criminal charges.

The Justice Department declined to prosecute Comey after the IG's office found that he had improperly handled memos he wrote about his one-on-one meetings with Trump before he was sacked.

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