Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has been under a secret grand jury investigation “for months” according to a bombshell new report.
According to an investigation by The Washington Post, McCabe is being investigated to determine whether criminal charges should be filed against him. If charges are filed, the former FBI chief faces a possible prison sentence.
The news emerged shortly after the Justice Department inspector general found McCabe “lacked candor” in his leaking of information to the media about the FBI’s botched investigation into Hillary Clinton.
“Such panels are sometimes used only as investigative tools, and it remains unclear if McCabe will ultimately be charged,” The Post states.
According to Western Journal, federal prosecutors impaneled the grand jury after a recommendation from the Justice Department.
Already more than one witness has been summoned before the jury, The Post reports.
McCabe’s lawyer downplayed the development.
“Today’s leak about a procedural step taken more than a month ago — occurring in the midst of a disastrous week for the president — is a sad and poorly veiled attempt to try to distract the American public.”
“We remain confident that a thorough review of the facts and circumstances related to this matter will demonstrate that there is no basis on which criminal charges should be brought,” said Michael R. Bromwich, McCabe’s attorney, according to Fox News.
Bromwich said he does not expect his client will face prosecution unless there is interference from “high levels of the administration.”
McCabe was found to have leaked information to the media in 2016 in an effort to portray himself in a favorable light regarding the investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server.
McCabe sought to “rebut a narrative that had been developing … that questioned McCabe’s impartiality in overseeing” the investigation into Clinton’s emails and the Clinton Foundation, the Washington Examiner reported.
McCabe was a controversial figure within the FBI even prior to his role investigating Clinton, as his wife sought political office with the help of Clinton’s Democratic allies.
In November last year, the watchdog group Judicial Watch noted that McCabe had conflicts during the investigation.
“The FBI is compromised. Mr. McCabe should have been nowhere near the Hillary Clinton investigations,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “That he saw fit to recuse himself only days before the election further demonstrates the FBI’s Clinton email investigation was a sham. No wonder it took a year and a federal lawsuit to get these records. It is well past time for the Justice Department to reopen the Clinton email investigation.”
McCabe was fired from his role in the FBI in March, shortly before he planned to retire.
“The FBI’s OPR then reviewed the report and underlying documents and issued a disciplinary proposal recommending the dismissal of Mr. McCabe,” a statement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at the time. “Both the OIG and FBI OPR reports concluded that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions.”
“Pursuant to Department Order 1202, and based on the report of the Inspector General, the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, and the recommendation of the Department’s senior career official, I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately,” Sessions said then.
McCabe has insisted he has been unfairly attacked by the Trump administration.
In the same month as his firing, McCabe defended himself in an Op-Ed for The Washington Post in which he said he may not have always told the truth but that he never meant to mislead anyone.
“I have been accused of ‘lack of candor.’ That is not true. I did not knowingly mislead or lie to investigators,” McCabe wrote. “When asked about contacts with a reporter that were fully within my power to authorize as deputy director, and amid the chaos that surrounded me, I answered questions as completely and accurately as I could. And when I realized that some of my answers were not fully accurate or may have been misunderstood, I took the initiative to correct them.”
“At worst, I was not clear in my responses, and because of what was going on around me may well have been confused and distracted — and for that I take full responsibility,” he added. “But that is not a lack of candor.”