The Justice Department’s inspector general has referred its criminal findings on former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, CNN reported.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that McCabe “lacked candor” during multiple discussions with then-FBI Director James Comey, FBI investigators, and Office of Inspector General investigators regarding leaking sensitive information to the media.
According to The Washington Post, “the referral to the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office occurred some time ago, after the inspector general concluded McCabe had lied to investigators or his own boss, then-FBI Director James B. Comey, on four occasions, three of them under oath.”
The IG sent a report to Congress last week, slamming McCabe for inappropriately authorizing the disclosure of sensitive information to the media, and then lying to investigators about it.
“The report — which quickly became public, though it was not released by the inspector general — laid out in stunning detail allegations McCabe had deceived investigators about his role in approving the disclosure, even as he lashed out at others in the FBI for leaks,” The Post reported.
These findings were reportedly the basis for McCabe’s firing by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month.
“After an extensive and fair investigation and according to Department of Justice procedure, the Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) provided its report on allegations of misconduct by Andrew McCabe to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR),” Sessions wrote at the time.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked McCabe, and celebrated his firing in March.
As noted by The Post, a “referral to federal prosecutors does not necessarily mean McCabe will be charged with a crime.” However, the IG’s report argues that one of McCabe’s lies was told “knowingly and intentionally” — which if true would make it a federal crime.
Lying to federal investigators is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Former FBI Director Comey spoke about the IG’s report during an appearance on ABC’s “The View.”
“It’s not OK. The McCabe case illustrates what an organization committed to the truth looks like,” Comey said. “I ordered that investigation.”
“Good people lie. I think I’m a good person, where I have lied,” he continued. “I still believe Andrew McCabe is a good person but the inspector general found he lied.”
McCabe’s lawyer has said that McCabe never mislead investigators and was wrongly accused of lying in the inspector general’s report.
A McCabe spokesperson, the Justice Department and U.S. attorney’s office have all declined to comment on this new development.
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