Prosecutors considering criminal charges for ousted FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

April 20, 2018

Just hours after being thrown “under the bus” by former FBI Director James Comey, recently ousted FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is now facing the possibility of criminal charges for repeatedly misleading investigators “about information provided in October 2016 to a Wall Street Journal reporter,” according to the Journal

McCabe allegedly leaked information to the Journal about a federal investigation into the Clinton Foundation, then lied about his actions to both Comey and federal investigators. McCabe was recently fired from the FBI less than 48 hours before his scheduled retirement.

While it is unclear whether formal charges will indeed be filed against McCabe, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has referred McCabe to federal prosecutors, indicating that the former deputy director is headed in that direction.

“Unjustified?”

McCabe’s lawyer, Michael Bromwich, said in a statement that he and his team “were advised of the referral within the past few weeks,” but they believe the referral is “unjustified.”

“We have already met with staff members from the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” the statement from McCabe’s lawyers read. “We are confident that, unless there is inappropriate pressure from high levels of the Administration, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will conclude that it should decline to prosecute.”

The inspector general’s investigation into the controversy began in August 2017, “after the FBI’s Inspection Division told the inspector general’s office that the deputy director may have lacked candor when questioned [in July 2017] about his role in disclosing sensitive information to a reporter,” according to ABC.

ABC’s report continued:

In its report released Friday, the inspector general’s office said McCabe “lacked candor” in July 2017 when he told investigators – under oath – “that he was not aware of [the FBI attorney] having been authorized to speak to reporters around Oct. 30,” and he “lacked candor” again four months later when he acknowledged authorizing the disclosure but “stated that he told Comey on Oct. 31, 2016, that he had authorized the disclosure to the WSJ.”

McCabe explained his possibly criminal actions in a March column for the Washington Post, in which he blamed the “chaos” of the time — when Comey was fired in May 2017 and McCabe took over as acting FBI director — for leaking the information.

“At worst, I was not clear in my responses, and because of what was going on around me may well have been confused and distracted — and for that I take full responsibility,” McCabe wrote. McCabe’s office has also said that representatives for the deputy director contacted the inspector general’s office in July 2017 to “correct his prior statements.”

Comey: Sometimes “good people do things they shouldn’t do”

While it is unclear when exactly Horowitz referred McCabe to federal prosecutors, the timing of the reports of the referral coincides with some harsh words from former colleague Comey. After defending McCabe earlier this year, Comey seemed to have switched sides in a recent CNN interview promoting his new book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.

“I like [McCabe] very much as a person, but sometimes even good people do things they shouldn’t do,” Comey told CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper on Thursday. “I think it is accountability mechanisms working and they should work because it’s not acceptable in the FBI or the Justice Department for people to lack candor. It’s something we take really seriously.”

Asked if he could be a witness against McCabe, Comey answered, “Sure, given that the IG’s report reflects interactions that Andy McCabe had with me and other senior executives, I could well be a witness.”

President Donald Trump responded to Comey’s interview by criticizing him for throwing his colleague “under the bus” when Horowitz’s report is apparently bad news for both of them.

With Comey and McCabe throwing each other “under the bus,” all conservatives need to do is sit back and watch. May justice be served.

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Michelle E. Rawlings

Michelle Rawlings is Conservative Institute's managing editor. Her award-winning writing has appeared in local newspapers and national web publications such as Red Alert Politics. Michelle holds a B.A. in English from Shenandoah University.