The Department of Justice’s inspector general referred the case of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to federal prosecutors after finding that he lied to federal investigators, McCabe’s lawyer said Thursday.
DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz released a report last week concluding that McCabe lacked candor under oath on multiple occasions while discussing his decision to authorize media disclosures ahead of the 2016 election regarding ongoing investigations involving 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. McCabe has denied any wrongdoing.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe last month, just before he would have been eligible for full retirement benefits, following the DOJ inspector general’s conclusions and acting on the recommendation of the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility.
“Although we believe the referral is unjustified, the standard for an IG referral is very low,” Michael Bromwich, McCabe’s attorney and a former DOJ inspector general himself, said in a statement.
“We have already met with staff members from the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Bromwich added. “We are confident that, unless there is inappropriate pressure from high levels of the Administration, the US Attorney’s Office will conclude that it should decline to prosecute.”
Among its conclusions, the inspector general’s report found that McCabe misled his former boss, ex-FBI Director James Comey, over his role in disclosing information to a Wall Street Journal reporter regarding Clinton-related investigations. Comey said Thursday that he could “potentially” be a witness for the prosecution if McCabe were to face charges for lying to investigators.
Given that the IG’s report reflects interactions of Andy McCabe with me and others, I could well be a witness,” Comey said during an appearance on CNN.
Allies of President Donald Trump cheered the news of the criminal referral, which was first reported by CNN. A group of Trump-aligned Republicans on Wednesday sent a letter urging criminal investigations into former Obama administration leaders and DOJ officials, including Comey, McCabe and Clinton.