Tuesday, 18 February, 2020

Justice Dept. declines to charge ex-FBI deputy director McCabe

WASHINGTON DC- JUNE 21 Acting FBI Director Andrew Mc Cabe testifies before a House Appropriations subcommittee meeting on the FBI's budget requests for FY2018 DOJ Andrew Mc Cabe Will Not Face Criminal Charges 628 Pete Marovich Getty Images Ezra Dulis14 Feb 2020
Deanna Wagner | 15 February, 2020, 05:08

The Department of Justice announced Friday that it would not pursue charges against former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe following a yearslong investigation into whether he lied to the department about having authorization to leak information to the media during an agency investigation in 2016.

"The disgrace is that Andrew McCabe is not going to be behind bars", Gaetz said, after watching a clip of McCabe saying on CNN that it was a "disgrace" that his family had been dragged through the two-year ordeal.

The decision infuriated Trump, who was "not given a heads-up and was upset" because he "believes very strongly that action should be taken", a White House official told The Washington Post.

A lifelong Republican who worked at the FBI for 20 years, McCabe played a crucial role in the bureau's investigations of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Russian interference in the 2016 USA election.

This announcement comes after former Trump Advisor Roger Stone's prosecutors recommended a lengthy, 7-to-9-year prison sentence for a similar crime.

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti said the Justice Department wasted resources to pursue a years-long investigation of McCabe that was "obviously too weak to bring charges" but is now intervening in a case that "resulted in a conviction".

The Justice Department's inspector general forwarded the findings for prosecutors, but the months went by with no criminal charges.

McCabe has denied any wrongdoing and has said he was distracted by the tumult surrounding the FBI and the White House - one of the interviews took place the same day that former FBI Director FBI James Comey - during the times he was questioned.

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McCabe's lawyers declared on Friday, "At long last, justice has been done in this matter".

Trump said on Friday he had "the legal right" to interfere in criminal cases, despite an unusual rebuke from Attorney General William Barr, his top law enforcement official.

The investigation by the USA attorney's office in Washington arose from an October 2016 story in The Wall Street Journal that described internal debates roiling the FBI and the Justice Department weeks before the presidential election about how aggressively the Clinton Foundation should be investigated.

In April 2018 the Justice Department Office of the Inspector General sent a criminal referral against McCabe to the USA attorney's office in Washington, D.C. That referral said McCabe's leak did not serve the "public interest" and was made "to advance his personal interests at the expense of Department leadership".

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

Barr told ABC News that Trump's attacks made it "impossible" for him to do his job leading the Justice Department, telling ABC News in an interview: "It's time to stop the tweeting". No charges are expected to be filed against McCabe. The leak concerned the FBI's investigation into the Clinton Foundation. The article recounted a particularly tense phone call between McCabe and a senior Justice Department official about the investigation.

The inspector general's report said McCabe told internal investigators that he had not authorized anyone at the Federal Bureau of Investigation to speak with the reporter and that he did not know who did. "And when I thought my answers were misunderstood, I contacted investigators to correct them".