McCabe attorney calls criminal referral 'unjustified'

McCabe attorney calls criminal referral 'unjustified'
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An attorney for fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle McCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump MORE on Thursday called a criminal referral recommending criminal charges be considered for his client “unjustified,” and said he’s confident the U.S. attorney’s office won’t prosecute. 

Attorney Michael Bromwich confirmed that McCabe is the subject of a criminal referral from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz. But he said in a statement that the standard for such a referral is “very low.”

Bromwich said he’s met with representatives from the U.S. attorney’s office, and believes “unless there is inappropriate pressure from high levels of the administration, the U.S. attorney’s office will conclude that it should decline to prosecute.”

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The referral came in "the last few weeks" after the inspector general concluded that McCabe had lied to internal investigators and former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGiuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign DOJ watchdog unable to determine if FBI fed Giuliani information ahead of 2016 election Biden sister has book deal, set to publish in April MORE over his contacts with the media during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Referrals don't guarantee charges will be brought or require prosecutors to act in any way.

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 fired McCabe last month, just days before he was set to formally retire, after the inspector general's report found he was not completely candid with federal investigators.

The inspector general publicly released the report last week, which also alleges that McCabe 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 said the report “utterly failed to support the decision to terminate Mr. McCabe."