US attorney recommends moving forward with charges against McCabe after DOJ rejects his appeal

US attorney recommends moving forward with charges against McCabe after DOJ rejects his appeal
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A U.S. attorney has recommended moving forward with charges against former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeMcCabe accuses Trump officials of withholding evidence in lawsuit over firing McCabe: Being accused of treason by Trump 'quite honestly terrifying' Horowitz report is damning for the FBI and unsettling for the rest of us MORE, according to a source close to his legal team.

The move comes after the Department of Justice (DOJ) rejected McCabe's appeal of a decision made by Jessie Liu, the U.S. attorney for Washington D.C. He had appealed in the hopes of avoiding criminal charges after an internal DOJ watchdog concluded that he "lacked candor" with federal investigators. 

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“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 from the DOJ to the legal team, according to the source.

Fox News first reported the charges recommendation.

McCabe was fired in March by then-Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsLawmaker wants Chinese news outlet to register as foreign agent Trump-aligned group launches ad campaign hitting Doug Jones on impeachment ICE subpoenas Denver law enforcement: report MORE, after DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz provided a recommendation to an internal FBI office that McCabe was not forthcoming during interviews with federal investigators and that he "lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions."

In particular, Sessions said at the time that the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility and Office of Inspector General had found McCabe made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media in 2016 by allowing FBI officials to speak with reporters about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

McCabe's ouster last year came just days before the No. 2 official was scheduled to retire, stripping him of the pension he expected to receive after more than 20 years at the bureau.

Last month, McCabe sought to challenge the basis of his firing, alleging in a lawsuit against the FBI and DOJ that his termination from the bureau was a “politically motivated” move that stemmed from President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE's attacks against him and other DOJ officials.

In the court documents, McCabe alleges Trump was behind his firing, claiming that he forced the hands of other officials at the DOJ including Sessions, Horowitz and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein says he authorized release of Strzok-Page texts Journalist alleging Obama administration spied on her seeks to reopen case Rosenstein on his time in Trump administration: 'We got all the big issues right' MORE to remove him. And as a result, McCabe says this caused harm to his “reputation, professional standing, and dramatically reduced his retirement benefits” after “two decades of unblemished and non-partisan public service.”

House Republicans and other White House allies have long alleged misconduct among the top brass of the FBI and urged disciplinary action against officials such as McCabe, former counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyCNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group NYT: Justice investigating alleged Comey leak of years-old classified info Bernie-Hillary echoes seen in Biden-Sanders primary fight MORE.

And GOP attacks against him were refueled last month after CNN announced that they had hired him as a commentator.

Republicans have recently argued that McCabe should be punished for lying to investigators, noting that other Trump officials such as George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosCalifornia Democrat Christy Smith launches first TV ad in bid for Katie Hill's former House seat DOJ releases new tranche of Mueller witness documents Trump rails against Fox News for planning interviews with Schiff, Comey MORE and Michael Flynn were charged for lying to investigators on special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE’s team.

“I don’t know how you can’t indict him when he is engaged in the same conduct that other people have recently been charged for at the Department of Justice, particularly when your own watchdog says that those lies were done intentionally and knowingly and done repeatedly,” Rep. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeJordan says he thinks trial will be over by next week The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules White House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team MORE (R-Texas), a House Judiciary Committee member, said during a Sunday interview on Fox News's "Sunday Morning Futures."

“I think the Department of Justice is going to have to indict Andy McCabe simply because to do otherwise would be to admit that there are separate standards for people doing the same thing for the same conduct,” he said.