By Catherine Herridge, Alex Pappas | Fox News
Federal prosecutors appear to be close to a decision on whether to charge former FBI official Andrew McCabe over the circumstances that led to his firing from the bureau last year, Fox News has learned.
A source close to the process said that McCabe has had a “target on his back” because of the Justice Department inspector general findings against him over actions during the Hillary Clinton email investigation, as well as his role in the surveillance warrants against Trump campaign associates during the Russia investigation. McCabe is a former deputy and acting director of the FBI.
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The New York Times, which first reported the developments Monday, said McCabe’s lawyers recently met with DOJ attorneys who would handle a prosecution – an indication of a possible indictment.
McCabe’s legal team and the Justice Department declined to comment.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. has not responded to a Fox News request for comment.
The McCabe developments come just days after CNN announced it has hired the former FBI official as a paid commentator – a move that has drawn criticism. President Trump tweeted last week that the hiring of McCabe was “disgraceful.”
Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe in March 2018 after the Justice Department inspector general report found he had repeatedly misstated his involvement in a leak to The Wall Street Journal regarding an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
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A source close to the process confirmed to Fox News that the inspector general files on McCabe went to U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is probing the origins of the Russia case, to investigate his actions.
Earlier this 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.
The complaint contends 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.
The stated reason for the firing was that McCabe had misled investigators over his involvement in a news media leak, but McCabe says the real reason was “his refusal to pledge allegiance to a single man.”
McCabe has been singled out for attacks by the president since before he was elected after news emerged in the fall of 2016 that McCabe’s wife had accepted campaign contributions from a political action committee associated with former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe during an unsuccessful run for the state senate there. McAuliffe is a close ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton, who was being investigated at the time for her use of a personal email server while she was secretary of state.
McCabe has denied any wrongdoing and has said the inspector general’s conclusions relied on mischaracterizations and omissions, including of information favorable to McCabe.
McCabe spent 21 years with the FBI. He became the acting director in May 2017 after the president fired former director James Comey.
Fox News’ Jake Gibson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.
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