Federal prosecutors are considering filing charges against newly hired CNN contributor and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, according to a Monday report in the New York Times.
What's the background?
McCabe, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, was fired by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions on March 16, 2018, the day before he would have retired. This move delayed his retirement benefits for seven years.
According to a statement by Sessions at the time, McCabe was fired at the recommendation of the department's Office of the Inspector General over "allegations of misconduct."
A month later, the Justice Department Inspector General issued a criminal referral accusing McCabe of leaking sensitive information to the media to "advance his personal interest." This is the ongoing criminal investigation to which the Times report was referring.
McCabe recently published a book titled, "The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump." This memoir is highly critical of Sessions and the rest of the Trump administration.
McCabe is also currently suing the Department of Justice, claiming that he was unfairly targeted by President Donald Trump and that his firing was politically motivated. McCabe wants the department to reinstate him so that he can collect his benefits, which included a pension and health care coverage.
On Friday, CNN announced that McCabe would be joining the cable news network as a contributor.
What happened now?
According to the report from the Times, which was based on "interviews with people familiar with recent developments in the investigation," McCabe is in danger of being charged with "lying to federal agents."
McCabe's lawyers reportedly met twice last week with Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. The Times suggested that this could be an indication that McCabe's lawyers were trying to convince the Department of Justice not to go through with the prosecution.