The chances that the Justice Department will seek an indictment against ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe grew more likely on Thursday, when the Department notified his attorneys that it would not overrule the recommendation by federal prosecutors that he be charged.
McCabe’s lawyers had appealed to Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, arguing that he shouldn’t be charged after they were unable to convince the federal prosecutors on his case, USA Today and Washington Post reported.
McCabe, a favorite target of President Trump’s anti-FBI smears, has been accused of lacking candor in a DOJ Inspector General investigation into a 2016 media leak.
It’s unclear what next steps will be taken to act on the prosectors’ recommendation, which, according to WaPo, also has the support of the U.S. Attorney in D.C. Jesse Liu.
The grand jury that had been investigating the claims against McCabe was called back this week after being off for several weeks, the Washington Post reported. But given that an indictment has not been publicly unveiled yet, it’s unclear whether the grand jury has already handed one down under seal, or if it declined to do so this week, or if it has been asked to reconvene in the future to do so.
McCabe was fired from the FBI by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, just as he was about to become eligible for his retirement benefits. McCabe has since filed a lawsuit claiming that Trump pressured the Justice Department to oust him.
The Inspector General report bashed McCabe for not initially disclosing that he was involved in a Wall Street Journal story that confirmed the existence of a probe into the Clinton Foundation. His lawyers have pointed out that he later proactively reach out to the inspector general to correct the record.
A spokesperson for the Justice Department did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.