The Department of Justice announced Friday that it would not pursue charges against former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe following a yearslong investigation into whether he lied to the department about having authorization to leak information to the media during an agency investigation in 2016.
The 2018 inspector general's report faulted McCabe for leaking information to then-Wall Street Journal reporter Devlin Barrett for an October 30, 2016 story titled "FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe".
"Based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the Government at this time, we consider the matter closed", reads a letter from Justice Department officials to McCabe's counsel.
Prosecutors dropped the investigation into whether McCabe lied when questioned about a media leak related to a probe of the Clinton Foundation after almost two years. The New York Times first reported Jensen's involvement.
McCabe, a frequent target of attacks from President Donald Trump, has denied that he intentionally misled anyone.
"This means that no charges will be brought against him based on the facts underlying the Office of the Inspector General's April 2018 report", Bromwich and Schertler said.
"We said at the outset of the criminal investigation, nearly two years ago, that if the facts and the law determined the result, no charges would be brought", they said in a statement. The Justice Department's independent inspector general, who looked into the incident, found McCabe had lacked candor on four occasions when he spoke to investigators about the leak.
The timing of the Justice Department's decision in the McCabe case drew skepticism after Barr rebuked Trump for tweeting about the department's investigations, a move which many saw as a face-saving measure after the attorney general intervened in the case of longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone. Apart from simply having differing political views, Trump also believed that McCabe sought to undermine his candidacy while heading the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Trump repeatedly tried to discredit the Russian Federation investigation by alleging that McCabe was biased because a super PAC that supported his wife, who once ran for a Virginia state Senate seat, received hundreds of thousands of dollars in backing from a longtime Clinton ally: former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Trump has argued that the FBI under their watch initiated politically motivated investigations into his 2016 campaign, including seeking a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on former campaign aide Carter Page. The article recounted a particularly tense phone call between McCabe and a senior Justice Department official.
That leak confirmed the existence of the probe, the report said, which Comey had up to that point refused to do. One of the interviews took place the same day that Comey was sacked.