- The Justice Department is recommending criminal charges against former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Fox News reported.
- The New York Times and NBC News reported that McCabe appealed the decision, but it was rejected by Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen.
- The move paves the way for a criminal indictment of McCabe, who was fired from the FBI last year after an internal investigation found that he approved unauthorised disclosures to the media related to the bureau’s Hillary Clinton email probe.
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The Justice Department is moving forward with bringing criminal charges against former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Fox News reported on Thursday.
The news could pave the way for an indictment of McCabe, which may come within the next few days.
McCabe was fired in March 2018 after an investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) into his approval of unauthorised disclosures to the media in October 2016 related to the bureau’s Hillary Clinton email probe.
The inspector general, Michael Horowitz, concluded in a report that McCabe was not forthcoming during the OIG review. The FBI Office of Professional Responsibility subsequently recommended that then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions fire McCabe.
McCabe was fired one day before he was set to retire, and his ouster posed a significant risk to his pension and benefits.
Last month, the former deputy director sued the FBI and the Justice Department over his firing, alleging it was a politically motivated retaliation against him fuelled by President Donald Trump.
“It was Trump’s unconstitutional plan and scheme to discredit and remove DOJ and FBI employees who were deemed to be his partisan opponents because they were not politically loyal to him,” McCabe’s lawsuit said. “Plaintiff’s termination was a critical element of Trump’s plan and scheme.”
McCabe was referring to the string of public attacks Trump lobbed at him before his dismissal, during which the president accused McCabe of putting his thumb on the scale in favour of Clinton while investigating her use of a private email server.
Trump also alleged that McCabe was part of a group of senior FBI and DOJ officials who sought to undermine his presidency by launching the Russia investigation.
McCabe recently joined CNN as a contributor, and he is also set to headline a fundraiser for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party this month.
McCabe was one of three top FBI officials whom former FBI Director James Comey told about his conversations with Trump, many of which were the subject of the former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump sought to obstruct justice when he fired Comey.
The other two officials Comey told were James Baker, the former FBI general counsel, and James Rybicki, Comey’s former chief of staff. Baker was demoted from his position and reassigned within the FBI, and Rybicki was forced out of the bureau in 2017.
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