Prosecutors Recommend McCabe Face Criminal Charges Over Leaking Details to Media, Lying to Federal Agents
The DOJ IG found McCabe “lacked candor” four times during its investigation.
Federal prosecutors shot down an appeal from former FBI Deputy Director and current CNN contributor Andrew McCabe, who asked them to not recommend he face criminal charges. From The New York Times:
Lawyers for Mr. McCabe, who is being investigated over whether he lied to internal investigators about dealings with the news media, had argued that prosecutors lacked evidence to charge him. The lawyers detailed their position to top officials including Jeffrey A. Rosen, the deputy attorney general, who ultimately rejected their view. His deputy, Edward O’Callaghan, who was also present during the discussion, notified Mr. McCabe’s lawyers of the decision, one of the people said.
The case is politically fraught for the Justice Department because of President Trump’s repeated attacks on Mr. McCabe, who was the acting director of the F.B.I. when investigators opened the inquiry into whether the president obstructed justice. Charging Mr. McCabe would undoubtedly please Mr. Trump, but passing on charges could provoke his public displeasure.
The rejection of Mr. McCabe’s appeal would typically foreshadow an impending indictment, but that has apparently not yet happened. The grand jury hearing the case was recalled this week after going months without meeting but left without revealing any public signs of an indictment, The Washington Post reported. Grand jury proceedings are secret.
The Department of Justice Inspector General sent a criminal referral of McCabe to the US attorneys office in DC in April 2018.
The IG found four times McCabe “lacked candor.” From the report:
We also found that on May 9, 2017, when questioned under oath by FBI agents from INSD, McCabe lacked candor when he told the agents that he had not authorized the disclosure to the WSJ and did not know who did. This conduct violated FBI Offense Code 2.6 (Lack of Candor – Under Oath).
We further found that on July 28, 2017, when questioned under oath by the OIG in a recorded interview, McCabe lacked candor when he stated: (a) that he was not aware of Special Counsel having been authorized to speak to reporters around October 30 and (b) that, because he was not in Washington, D.C., on October 27 and 28, 2016, he was unable to say where Special Counsel was or what she was doing at that time. This conduct violated FBI Offense Code 2.6 (Lack of Candor – Under Oath).
We additionally found that on November 29, 2017, when questioned under oath by the OIG in a recorded interview during which he contradicted his prior statements by acknowledging that he had authorized the disclosure to the WSJ, McCabe lacked candor when he: (a) stated that he told Comey on October 31, 2016, that he had authorized the disclosure to the WSJ; (b) denied telling INSD agents on May 9 that he had not authorized the disclosure to the WSJ about the PADAG call; and (c) asserted that INSD’s questioning of him on May 9 about the October 30 WSJ article occurred at the end of an unrelated meeting when one of the INSD agents pulled him aside and asked him one or two questions about the article. This conduct violated FBI Offense Code 2.6 (Lack of Candor – Under Oath).
In August, US Attorney for District of DC Jessie Liu recommended McCabe face charges for lying to federal agents. McCabe and his lawyers filed his appeal. At the same time, McCabe claimed in a lawsuit the DOJ wrongfully terminated him. He accused President Donald Trump’s administration “of political meddling.” Politico reported last month:
“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,” according to McCabe’s lawsuit. “Plaintiff’s termination was a critical element of Trump’s plan and scheme.”
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, comes just two days after former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok filed a similar lawsuit, alleging that Trump’s vendetta against him led to his unceremonious firing, despite a formal disciplinary process that recommended a less severe punishment. Strzok is seeking his old job back or compensation for his lost pay and benefits, while McCabe is seeking the reinstatement of his full retirement benefits.
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