DOJ watchdog sends criminal referral for McCabe to federal prosecutor

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The report finding McCabe guilty of lack of candor led to a referral from the Department of Justice to the USA attorney of the District of Columbia for possible criminal prosecution. Prosecutors could try to prove that McCabe broke the law, or they could do nothing.

"We'll file when we're ready", Bromwich said.

The report came after a months-long internal investigation into McCabe's conduct, much of which is said to have taken place around the 2016 U.S. election.

Sessions said in his statement at the time that "both the OIG and FBI OPR reports concluded that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news med and lacked candor - including under oath - on multiple occasions". "We are confident that, unless there is inappropriate pressure from high levels of the Administration, the U.S. Attorney's Office will conclude that it should decline to prosecute".

In an interview with National Public Radio on Tuesday, former FBI Director James Comey said he had no recollection that McCabe had said he authorized officials to communicate with a Wall Street Journal reporter, as McCabe said he had. A referral to federal prosecutors, though, does not necessarily mean McCabe will be charged.

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Separately this week, 11 House Republicans asked Sessions, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray and Utah U.S. Attorney John Huber to explore whether McCabe - along with a host of other Justice Department officials - committed crimes in their handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server, the probe into Russian Federation interference in the 2016 election and other matters.

"It's not okay. The McCabe case illustrates what an organization committed to the truth looks like", Comey said and added, "I ordered that investigation".

McCabe informed Comey he was authorizing a subordinate to speak with the Journal, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director told the OIG.

The prior FBI Director included that he enjoyed McCabe "as far like a individual, but some times even good people do things they shouldn't do ..."

The report said McCabe authorized Federal Bureau of Investigation officials to share nonpublic information with a reporter - in this case, details about a tense call between McCabe and a senior Justice Department official - and then denied having done so when questioned about it under oath. McCabe asked the official, "Are you telling me that I need to shut down a validly predicated investigation?"

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The IG referral, however, could represent a more serious problem for McCabe.

The inspector general wrote that Comey inquired with his deputy about the disclosure, and McCabe led him to believe he did not know who was responsible.

But McCabe's legal counsel, Michael Bromwich, has blasted the inspector general report and has criticized Comey.

Bromwich, who served as the Justice Department's inspector general from 1994 to 1999, said he had never seen an internal DOJ disciplinary process progress so swiftly.

McCabe advised the inspector common's workplace he advised Comey after the article was revealed that he had allowed the officers to share the knowledge and that Comey thought it was a "good" concept to rebut a one-sided narrative. The report said Comey and McCabe gave conflicting accounts about a conversation they had on the leak. Comey is quoted as saying in the report.

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