U.S. attorney Jessie Liu has recommended that the Department of Justice bring charges against former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe for lying to investigators, Fox News reported Thursday.
McCabe appealed Liu’s decision to deputy attorney general Jeffrey Rosen, who rejected his plea.
“The Department rejected your appeal of the United States Attorney’s Office’s decision in this matter. Any further inquiries should be directed to the United States Attorney’s Office,” reads an email sent to McCabe’s legal team by the DOJ, which was obtained by Fox News.
The potential charges relate to McCabe’s allegedly misleading FBI investigators about his role in the leaking of classified information related to the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
McCabe, who was recently hired by CNN as a national security analyst, became acting director of the FBI in April 2017 following the firing of James Comey.
Attorney general Jeff Sessions then fired McCabe in March 2018 over the DOJ inspector general’s finding that he “lacked candor” when asked by Comey, and later two investigators, whether he leaked information about the Clinton email probe to a Wall Street Journal reporter.
While speaking with a reporter, McCabe allegedly confirmed the existence of the Clinton investigation, in violation FBI policy, by defending his agents’ prerogative to look into the Clinton Foundation as part of the probe.
McCabe maintains that he did not intentionally lie but was instead misunderstood by investigators. He filed suit against the Trump administration in U.S. District Court in Washington earlier this month, alleging that his dismissal was “politically motivated and retaliatory.”
Trump has repeatedly attacked McCabe as a Democratic partisan, often invoking his wife’s failed run for the Virginia state senate, which was partially financed by Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe’s political action committee. McAuliffe is a close ally of Hillary Clinton, who was under investigation for her use of a private email server at the time.