Federal prosecutors have recommended indicting former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe over his alleged “lack of candor” during an internal watchdog probe in 2017, according to a person familiar with the matter.
It is still not clear what specific charges prosecutors have recommended be brought against McCabe, who was fired in March 2018 after the Justice Department’s inspector general concluded that McCabe had leaked information to the media without permission and then made false or misleading statements to officials when asked about it.
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McCabe’s legal team had asked the Justice Department to overrule prosecutors’ recommendation, but were rebuffed, the person said.
The New York Times reported late last month that prosecutors were nearing a decision on whether to seek an indictment, but were worried about whether a trial would yield a conviction.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The recommendation also comes on the heels of McCabe’s lawsuit against the DOJ, filed last month in Washington, D.C. In it, McCabe claimed that his ouster last March — on the day he planned to retire after a 21-year career — was politically motivated retaliation driven by President Donald Trump, who was angry at McCabe’s role in the investigation of his campaign’s links to Russia.
“Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy,” Trump tweeted on March 17, just two hours after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions officially fired McCabe. “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!”
McCabe — who launched a counterintelligence investigation into Trump after he fired FBI Director James Comey in 2017 — said in an interview earlier this year that he believed his firing over “lack of candor” was “a perfect way to undermine my ability to, who knows, provide testimony against” the president.
“I never, ever intentionally misled the FBI inspection division, the office of the inspector general, or any director of the FBI, ever,” McCabe said at the time. “Not ever. I completely reject the findings, the conclusions and the recommendations in that [inspector general] report.”