Andrew McCabe appeal to avoid criminal charges rejected

A DOJ watchdog said former FBI Deputy Director McCabe made unauthorized releases of information and then misled investigators about it.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Julia Ainsley

WASHINGTON — Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen told former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Thursday that his appeal against possible criminal charges against him has been rejected, according to a person familiar with the decision.

The rejection may pave the way for an indictment of McCabe, who according to a Justice Department Inspector General's report made false statements to federal investigators about his disclosure of information to a journalist in 2016.

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics

McCabe was fired without receiving a pension by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2018 after the IG concluded McCabe "lacked candor" when questioned about the incident.

McCabe authorized the discussion of the FBI's investigation into the Clinton Foundation to the Wall Street Journal in order to rebut a story that he was not impartial in the investigation. The Wall Street Journal reporter had previously written about McCabe's wife, who took campaign donations from Hillary Clinton's close political ally Terry McAuliffe for her run in a state election in Virginia.

When Sessions fired McCabe, McCabe was less than 48 hours away from retiring.

McCabe sued the FBI and the Justice Department in August, claiming that his firing was part of the Trump administration's "unconstitutional plan and scheme to discredit and remove DOJ and FBI employees who were deemed to be his partisan opponents because they were not politically loyal to him."

Critics of the IG probe and McCabe supporters have said he has been treated unfairly by those who wish to retaliate against him for his role in the Justice Department's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

McCabe supporters also point to the recent acquittal of Democratic White House Counsel Greg Craig on similar charges relating to false statements about his work for the Ukrainian government in 2012.