Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has issued a criminal referral to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. related to fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeJustice Dept inspector asks US attorney to consider criminal charges for McCabe: reports James Comey and Andrew McCabe: You read, you decide GOP lawmakers demand Sessions investigate Clinton, Comey MORE, a lawyer for McCabe confirmed on Thursday.
McCabe was informed of the referral “within the past few weeks,” according to the lawyer, Michael Bromwich, who called it “unjustified” and noted that “the standard for an IG referral is very low.”
Referrals don’t guarantee charges will be brought or require prosecutors to act in any way. McCabe and his lawyers have met with staff members from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Bromwich said.
Spokesmen for Horowitz’s office, the U.S. attorney’s office and the Justice Department all declined to comment.
Horowitz last week issued a scathing report of McCabe’s conduct at the FBI, alleging that he authorized a leak to the media in order to “advance his personal interests” and then misled internal investigators and Comey about the matter.
Lying to federal investigators is a federal crime and the report was seen by some analysts as a roadmap for federal charges against McCabe.
McCabe has disputed the charges as politically motivated and said he did not intentionally mislead anyone. His attorney responded immediately on Friday, saying the report “utterly failed to support the decision to terminate Mr. McCabe.”
According to the report, McCabe led Comey to believe that he had not authorized the disclosures that lead to the media story in question and did not know who did. He allegedly made the same statement to internal investigators when questioned under oath months later — only to later correct his statement to the inspector general’s investigators.
“We found it extremely unlikely, as McCabe now claims, that he not only told Comey about his decision to authorize the disclosure, but that Comey thought it was a ‘good’ idea for McCabe to have taken that action,” the report states.
The report was met with glee by conservatives as well as President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republicans push Mulvaney, Trump to rescind Gateway funds Pruitt spent K flying aides to Australia to prep for later-canceled visit: report Rosenstein told Trump he is not a target of Mueller probe: report MORE, who tweeted that the report was a “disaster” that showed McCabe”lied! lied! lied!” and that “McCabe is Comey!”