The Latest: McCabe lawyer says criminal referral unjustified

Andrew McCabe
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe (all times local):

4:55 p.m.

A lawyer for fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe says a criminal referral to prosecutors about his client is “unjustified.”

Attorney Michael Bromwich confirmed the referral to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington in a statement Thursday.

It comes amid an inspector general report that concluded that McCabe misled investigators about his role in a news media disclosure.

The referral doesn’t mean he will be charged, but it does mean he could face a criminal investigation.

In his statement, Bromwich says the standard for an inspector general referral “is very low.”

He says he’s already met with representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s office and is confident that, “unless there is inappropriate pressure from high levels of the Administration, the US Attorney’s Office will conclude that it should decline to prosecute.”

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4:25 p.m.

The Justice Department’s inspector general has sent a criminal referral about fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe to federal prosecutors in Washington, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday.

The referral to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia does not mean McCabe will ever be charged, but it does raise the possibility that the longtime law enforcement official could face a criminal investigation into whether he illegally misled officials about a news media disclosure. Prosecutors could move to charge him if they conclude that he intentionally lied.

The person who described the referral was not authorized to discuss a confidential process publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press.

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