The Inspector General of the Department of Justice sent a “criminal referral” to the US attorney’s office regarding former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s violation of the law when he misled federal investigators.
According to the Washington Post, the complaint states the former bureau boss “repeatedly misled” authorities when questioned over his role in Hillary Clinton’s botched email probe and other issues.
“The Justice Department inspector general referred its finding that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe repeatedly misled investigators who were examining a media disclosure to the top federal prosecutor in D.C. to determine whether McCabe should be charged with a crime, according to people familiar with the matter,” writes the Post.
The criminal complaint comes just hours after GOP members of Congress sent their own “referral” to the Justice Department surrounding former Obama aides and their role in using the ‘Trump Dossier’ to obtain FISA warrants.
The U.S. attorney’s office met with McCabe’s legal team in recent weeks, though it was not immediately clear whether prosecutors there were conducting their own investigation or believed criminal charges are appropriate.
The referral raises the possibility that McCabe could be charged and jailed for his alleged misconduct — perhaps with Comey testifying as a witness against him. A referral to federal prosecutors, though, does not necessarily mean McCabe will be charged.
Michael R. Bromwich, McCabe’s lawyer, said in a statement: “We were advised of the referral within the past few weeks. Although we believe the referral is unjustified, the standard for an [inspector general] referral is very low. We have already met with staff members from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 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.”
President Trump, apparently referring to comments Comey made on CNN saying he could be called as a witness against McCabe, wrote on Twitter: “James Comey just threw Andrew McCabe ‘under the bus.’ Inspector General’s Report on McCabe is a disaster for both of them! Getting a little (lot) of their own medicine?”
The Justice Department, the inspector general’s office and the D.C. U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment Thursday.