16:38, March 14 344 0 abajournal.com

2018-03-14 16:38:06
Sessions is reportedly mulling a recommendation to fire former FBI deputy director McCabe

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reportedly reviewing a recommendation to fire former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe for authorizing bureau officials to speak to reporters and misleading investigators looking into the matter.

The FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility reportedly made the recommendation in advance of McCabe’s planned retirement on Sunday. The New York Times broke the story, and the Washington Post and ABC News followed with reports. The stories are based on anonymous sources.

McCabe could lose his retirement benefits if he is fired.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is expected to release a report that says McCabe authorized bureau officials to speak with the Wall Street Journal about an investigation involving the Clinton Foundation. The report is expected to say that McCabe misled the inspector general when questioned about his actions. McCabe reportedly maintains he didn’t intend to mislead investigators.

The Journal story, published in October 2016, reported on disagreement in the FBI and Justice Department over the handling of the Clinton Foundation probe amid DOJ concerns about the strength of the evidence. The report told of McCabe standing up to the Justice Department when it expressed concern about pursuing the probe during the election season.

McCabe stepped down as deputy director in January, reportedly amid concerns raised by the inspector general report.

President Donald Trump has previously questioned whether McCabe favored Hillary Clinton because McCabe’s wife received political donations from a Democratic-linked political action committee when she ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate. Trump reportedly asked McCabe how he voted in the 2016 election after the firing of FBI director James Comey last May.

After his wife lost the election, McCabe became FBI deputy director. As part of his duties he oversaw had investigations into Clinton’s use of a private email server and into donations made to the Clinton Foundation, though he later recused himself. He also worked on the probe into Russian influence in the election.

“The situation now seems fraught for all involved,” the Post reported. “If the Justice Department does not move on the recommendation, conservatives might view officials there as unfairly protecting McCabe. …

“But if the FBI fires McCabe with just days to go before his retirement, it could be viewed as bending to the will of a vindictive president.”