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 McCabeAndrew McCabe's settlement with the Department of Justice is a signal to John Durham Trump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle MORE, a lawyer for McCabe confirmed on Thursday.
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 TrumpTrump announces new social media network called 'TRUTH Social' Virginia State Police investigating death threat against McAuliffe Meadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report MORE, who tweeted that the report was a "disaster" that showed McCabe "lied! lied! lied!" and that "McCabe is Comey!"
A group of 11 House conservatives recently issued their own referral on McCabe — among other Obama-era officials — asking for an investigation into whether he committed perjury and other crimes. That referral was made to Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits McCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Overnight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability MORE, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Utah U.S. Attorney John Huber.
McCabe has been a target on the right following the revelation that his wife, Jill McCabe, received political donations from Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMeghan McCain: 'SNL' parodies made me feel like 'laughing stock of the country' Hill: Trump reelection would spur 'one constitutional crisis after another' Trump defends indicted GOP congressman MORE ally and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) in a failed state Senate campaign.
The campaign predated McCabe's stint as deputy director of the FBI, when he had a leadership role in the investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server and the Clinton Foundation.
The inspector general report reveals that he recused himself from the two investigations just days before the election.
Updated at 4:42 p.m.