The U.S. Justice Department moved closer to a politically sensitive prosecution of former top FBI official Andrew McCabe on Thursday as it rejected a request from his legal team to drop the case, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
The notice indicates that the department could soon bring criminal charges against the FBI’s former No. 2 official, who has endured years of criticism by President Donald Trump.
The Justice Department told McCabe’s legal team that it had rejected their argument that an indictment was not warranted, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
— Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) September 12, 2019
A Justice Department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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 U.S. election.
In campaign speeches, interviews and tweets Trump has accused McCabe of conflicts of interest because his wife Jill McCabe, a Democrat, received donations for an unsuccessful 2015 Virginia state senate campaign from a Clinton ally.
***BREAKING NOW: “US Attorney moves to charge McCabe for lying about Hillary Email Probe.”*** https://t.co/bQCCl5sMeJ
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) September 12, 2019
McCabe was fired in March 2018 after the Department’s internal watchdog issued a report saying he misled internal investigators who were trying to determine whether he improperly shared information with a news reporter during the height of the 2016 presidential election.
McCabe has said he misremembered some details about the incident when asked about it months later, but did not intentionally lie to prosecutors.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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