Attorneys for former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe on Thursday called on the Justice Department to “immediately” close what they called a “fatally flawed” investigation of allegations against him, amid speculation McCabe could be indicted.
McCabe's attorneys, Michael Bromwich and David Schertler, on Thursday blasted the probe as a “waste of governmental resources.” They also ripped the U.S. Attorney’s office in the District of Columbia for providing them with “no information” in response to their requests regarding the status of the probe into their client.
“This investigation has been fatally flawed from its inception,” they said in a statement. “It has been irrevocably tainted by the President’s targeting of Mr. McCabe for prosecution. The investigation has now dragged on for more than 18 months with no resolution in sight.”
Bromwich and Schertler said the investigation was “deeply unfair” to McCabe and his family.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office should close this investigation immediately and move on to fight battles more worthy of the traditions of the Department of Justice,” they said.
The comments come after U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu recommended moving forward with charges against McCabe last week. McCabe appealed the decision of Liu all the way up to Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who ultimately rejected that request.
The potential charges relate to DOJ inspector general findings against him regarding misleading statements concerning a Hillary Clinton-related investigation.
A source close to McCabe’s legal team said they received an email from the Justice Department last week which said, “The Department rejected your appeal of the United States Attorney’s Office’s decision in this matter. Any further inquiries should be directed to the United States Attorney’s Office.”
McCabe served at the FBI for 21 years. He became the acting director in May 2017 after President Trump fired former director James Comey.
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe in March 2018 after the inspector general found he had repeatedly misstated his involvement in a leak to The Wall Street Journal regarding an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
The IG report faulted McCabe for leaking information to then-Wall Street Journal reporter Devlin Barrett for an Oct. 30, 2016 story titled “FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe.” The story -- written just days before the presidential election – focused on the FBI announcing the reopening of the Clinton investigation after finding thousands of her emails on a laptop belonging to former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, who was married to Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
The Journal's account of the call said a senior Justice Department official expressed displeasure to McCabe that FBI agents were still looking into the Clinton Foundation, and that McCabe had defended the agent's authority to pursue the issue.
That leak confirmed the existence of the probe, the report said, which Comey had up to that point refused to do.
The report said that McCabe "lacked candor" in a conversation with Comey when he said he had not authorized the disclosure and didn't know who had done so. The IG also found that he lacked candor when questioned by FBI agents on multiple occasions since that conversation.
McCabe’s attorneys on Thursday also argued that Justice Department personnel were leaking information about the investigation to reporters, citing conversations with journalists who said there would be a grand jury reconvening and that McCabe could be indicted at that time.
“The reporters could only have obtained this information from personnel at the Department of Justice or the U.S. Attorney’s Office and such leaks are prohibited by the rules governing grand jury secrecy,” they said. “These leaks in violation of DOJ policy are particularly ironic given that the entire predicate for any false statements charges that might be brought against our client is an authorized disclosure of information that he directed be made in October 2016.”
McCabe has denied any wrongdoing and said the inspector general's conclusions relied on mischaracterizations and omissions, including of information favorable to McCabe.
Last month, McCabe sued the FBI and the Justice Department over his firing, arguing it was part of Trump's plan to rid the bureau of leaders he perceived as disloyal to him. McCabe argued in his complaint that the two officials responsible for demoting and then firing McCabe — FBI Director Chris Wray and Sessions — created a pretext to force him out in accordance with the president's wishes.
McCabe, who now serves as a contributor for CNN, slammed the investigation this week, saying he "absolutely" rejects Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz's findings and conclusions, and vowed to "absolutely not" take a plea deal "under any circumstances."
"I have said from the very beginning I absolutely reject that report because I never intentionally misled anyone about anything and I will not stand up and claim that I have done something that I didn't do. So it won't happen," McCabe said on CNN Wednesday.
Fox News' Alex Pappas contributed to this report.