Former Acting Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe will not face criminal charges for allegedly lying to agents about a leak to reporters, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) letter released Friday afternoon.
DOJ tells former Acting Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe that it will not pursue charges against him. pic.twitter.com/imAyjZs9Nq
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 14, 2020
J.P. Cooney and Molly Gaston, two officials in the DOJ’s Fraud & Public Corruption Section, wrote to McCabe’s lawyers, saying, “after careful consideration, the Government has decided not to pursue criminal charges against your client, Andrew G. McCabe.”
McCabe was under investigation for reportedly lying to FBI agents in 2017 who were investigating a leak to the Wall Street Journal which he allegedly authorized. The Washington Post reported that a grand jury was impaneled for the case in 2018. Breitbart’s Joshua Caplan wrote:
In April, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s long-awaited report concluded McCabe made false statements to U.S. officials on at least four occasions and improperly disclosed information to then-Wall Street Journal reporter Devlin Barrett “to advance his personal interests over those of the Justice Department.”
McCabe reacted to the news on CNN, saying the experience was “traumatic” for his family.
“As glad as I am that the DOJ and the DC attorney’s office finally decided to do the right thing today, it’s an absolute disgrace that they took two years and put my family through this experience for two years before they finally drew the obvious conclusion,” he said.
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe after the DOJ dropped its criminal investigation: “It’s an absolute disgrace that they took two years — and put my family through this experience for two years — before they finally drew the obvious conclusion” https://t.co/TpGnL4ziim pic.twitter.com/7Z4GhVeKjF
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 14, 2020
Two of McCabe’s defense lawyers put out a statement declaring: “At long last, justice has been done in this matter.”
Today, our was informed that the government will not pursue criminal charges against Andrew McCabe. “At long last, justice has been done in this matter.” pic.twitter.com/2rTOlse1Oo
— Melissa Schwartz (@MSchwartz3) February 14, 2020
FOIA-ed FBI documents revealed this January that agents were frustrated with McCabe for wasting their time following other leads after he denied involvement in the WSJ leak.
“I remember saying to him, at, I said, ‘Sir, you understand that we’ve put a lot of work into this based on what you told us,’” the agent said.
“I mean, and I even said, long nights and weekends working on this, trying to find out who amongst your ranks of trusted people would, would do something like that.’ And he kind of just looked down, kind of nodded, and said ‘Yeah I’m sorry.”
In response to the new evidence, a White House official told Breitbart News that the “hypocrisy” of the alleged wrongdoing was unacceptable. “Andrew McCabe, while serving as Deputy Director of the FBI, lied to the FBI,” the individual said. “Then he lied about lying. He has thrown thousands of men in jail for lying to federal investigators. This hypocrisy cannot go unpunished.”
Fox News reported in September 2019 that U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu recommended moving forward with charges, as lying to the FBI is a federal crime — the rationale for federal prosecution against several of President Donald Trump’s allies, such as Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. McCabe was reportedly integral in setting up a fateful meeting where Flynn spoke to agents without legal counsel.
President Trump fired McCabe from his position in March 2018, just before he was scheduled to retire with full benefits. McCabe has since filed a lawsuit calling the firing “illegal,” published a memoir, and signed on as a CNN contributor.
The decision not to prosecute comes as Trump supporters accuse the federal government of carrying out injustice, applying different standards to people who violate the political orthodoxy of the “deep state” — or “interagency,” as federal employees call the larger body of unelected federal bureaucrats (McCabe, for his part, has denied that such a culture exists). This week, U.S. Attorney General William Barr has been under fire for the DOJ decreasing its recommended sentencing for Roger Stone, a pro-Trump veteran political operative. Stone was convicted of lying to Congress, obstructing a House investigation, and tampering with a witness, and prosecutors originally sought a seven to nine-year sentence; four attorneys resigned from the case after their superiors labeled the request “excessive.”