McCabe oversaw criminal probe into Sessions over testimony on Russian contacts: report

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeMcCabe says it's 'absolutely' time to launch impeachment inquiry into Trump Feds gone wild: DOJ's stunning inability to prosecute its own bad actors Comey: Trump peddling 'dumb lies' MORE oversaw a federal investigation last year into whether Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump: Appointing Sessions was my biggest mistake Nikki Haley blasts Roy Moore's Senate bid: 'He does not represent our Republican Party' Time magazine: Trump threatened reporter with prison time MORE was fully forthcoming in his testimony to Congress about his contacts with Russian officials, ABC News reported Wednesday.

Top GOP and Democratic lawmakers learned about the probe last year in a private briefing with McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinTrump: Appointing Sessions was my biggest mistake Trump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Trump: I didn't fire Mueller since firings 'didn't work out too well' for Nixon MORE. The probe has since been closed.

Sessions was not aware of the investigation when he fired McCabe on Friday night, according to ABC News. Sessions fired the FBI official for not being fully forthcoming with investigators and for making an unauthorized disclosure to the media.

ADVERTISEMENT

McCabe has claimed that he was fired to try and undermine special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump Schiff says Intel panel will hold 'series' of hearings on Mueller report MORE's probe into Russian election interference.

During a confirmation hearing, Sessions had testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had not been in contact with Russian officials about the 2016 election and that he was “not aware” of any other Trump campaign associates being in touch with the Russian government.

However, The Washington Post reported two months after Sessions’s testimony that the then-Alabama senator had met with the Russian ambassador during the campaign. He said that he did not recall the meeting at first, but did so after reading news coverage about the contact.

McCabe reportedly opened the probe after then-Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Mexican officials scramble to avoid Trump tariffs The Hill's Morning Report - Tariff battle looms as Trump jabs 'foolish' Senate GOP Barbs start to fly ahead of first Democratic debate MORE (D-Minn.) and Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyThis week: Congress set for clash on Trump's border request Congress unlikely to reach deal on Trump border bill before break GOP lawmakers want Mulvaney sidelined in budget talks MORE (D-Vt.) sent a letter to the FBI asking the agency to investigate all of Sessions's contacts with Russians and to determine "whether any laws were broken in the course of those contacts or in any subsequent discussion of whether they occurred."

Sessions had recused himself from the Russia investigation at the time of the criminal probe into his statements.

Mueller's team interviewed Sessions two months ago, Sessions's lawyer said.

Sessions has said that he did meet with the Russian official, but that none of the meetings had anything to do with the Trump campaign, to which he acted as a foreign policy adviser.

"The Special Counsel's office has informed me that after interviewing the attorney general and conducting additional investigation, the attorney general is not under investigation for false statements or perjury in his confirmation hearing testimony and related written submissions to Congress," Sessions’s attorney, Chuck Cooper, told ABC News.

A representative for McCabe declined to comment to ABC.