A U.S. attorney has recommended moving forward with charges against former 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, 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.
Fox News first reported the charges recommendation.
McCabe was fired in March by then-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, 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 TrumpJan. 6 panel plans to subpoena Trump lawyer who advised on how to overturn election Texans chairman apologizes for 'China virus' remark Biden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day 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 RosensteinWashington still needs more transparency House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week 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 ComeyTrump defends indicted GOP congressman Andrew McCabe's settlement with the Department of Justice is a signal to John Durham Giuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign 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 PapadopoulosTrump supporters show up to DC for election protest Trump pardons draw criticism for benefiting political allies Klobuchar: Trump 'trying to burn this country down on his way out' MORE and Michael Flynn were charged for lying to investigators on special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel 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 RatcliffeSunday shows preview: Senate votes to raise debt ceiling; Facebook whistleblower blasts company during testimony Biden, Trump battle over who's to blame for Afghanistan Sunday shows preview: US grapples with rising COVID-19 cases 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.