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Justice Dept Inspector General issues a criminal referral for Andrew McCabe
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe (center) is escorted by U.S. Capitol Police before a meeting with members of the Oversight and Government Reform and Judiciary committees in the Rayburn House Office Building on Dec. 21, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Justice Dept Inspector General issues a criminal referral for Andrew McCabe

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has issued a criminal referral to the U.S. Attorney's office regarding former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. The referral was made "some time ago," according to the Washington Post, but news of it is only now being shared with the public.

The referral stated that McCabe "lacked candor" in four separate instances "when discussing the disclosure of information for a Wall Street Journal article about the FBI's Clinton Foundation investigation," according to CNN, which has a copy of the report.

The recommendation came just a week after a report from the Inspector General's office in which Horowitz accused McCabe of leaking information to the media to "advance his personal interest."

In last week's report, Horowitz said that McCabe was not authorized to disclose that the investigation was taking place and that McCabe had misled former FBI Director James Comey into believing that he did not know who was responsible for authorizing the disclosure.

According to the Inspector General's report, “We found it extremely unlikely, as McCabe now claims, that he not only told Comey about his decision to authorize the disclosure, but that Comey thought it was a ‘good’ idea for McCabe to have taken that action.”

The U.S. Attorney's office has yet to act on this latest referral, which is a nonbinding recommendation. However, it does have more authority than the referral made by 11 lawmakers on Wednesday, asking the attorney general to investigate McCabe and Comey, among others.

McCabe has asserted that he did not lie or intentionally mislead anyone.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe on March 16, just a day before he would have been able to retire early with full benefits on his 50th birthday. McCabe will still get retirement benefits from the bureau. He’ll just have to wait until he turns 57 before he sees them.

The move was criticized by those who thought McCabe was fired to appease President Donald Trump, who frequently attacked McCabe.

According to the Post, the Department of Justice, the D.C. U.S. Attorney's Office, and McCabe's spokesman have yet to acknowledge this referral.

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