The Justice Department has decided not to pursue criminal charges against former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, federal prosecutors said Friday.
In a letter to Mr. McCabe’s attorney, Michael Bromwich, prosecutors said, “based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the government at this time, we consider the matter closed.”
Mr. Bromwich praised the decision.
“At long last, justice has been done in this matter,” he said in a statement. “We said at the outset of the criminal investigation, almost two years ago that if he facts and the law determined the result, no charges would be brought. We are pleased that Andrew McCabe and his family can go on with their lives without this cloud hanging over them.”
The decision not to pursue charges was expected. In a November court filing, the Justice Department hinted it wasn’t likely to prosecute Mr. McCabe when it decided to release documents about the case to the public.
Last year, Mr. McCabe’s attorneys said reporters told them a grand jury in Washington declined to indict the former FBI official. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, however, would not confirm if a grand jury was impaneled in the case.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz last year concluded Mr. McCabe “lacked candor” with investigators probing a leak to The Wall Street Journal that revealed the FBI was looking into Hilary Clinton’s emails and the Clinton Foundation.
The Justice Department fired Mr. McCabe in the spring of 2018, citing Mr. Horowitz’s conclusions. Mr. McCabe is suing the Justice Department for wrongful termination, alleging President Trump ordered his firing.
In a victory lap on CNN, where he works as a contributor, Mr. McCabe said he was glad the Justice Department “finally decided to do the right thing.”
“It is an absolute disgrace that they took two years and put my family through this experience for two years, before they finally drew the obvious conclusion and one they could have drawn a long, long time ago,” he said.
“It was traumatic to leave the FBI, certainly in the way that I did, and that’s been tough to live with,” Mr. McCabe said. “The added insult and suspicion that comes with being under criminal investigation just made the entire experience a million times worse.”
Mr. McCabe ultimately admitted he mislead investigators about his role in the media leak and even apologized for it according to interviews with investigators released last month in a response to a government watchdog’s Freedom of Information Act request.
An unidentified FBI investigator detailed his frustration with Mr. McCabe over the time he spent investigating the leak, only to discover the leak came from the former deputy director himself, according to the transcripts. Mr. McCabe had repeatedly denied he was the source of the leak, but later confessed and apologized when the investigator confronted him, the transcripts said.
“I remember saying to him, ‘Sir, you understand that we’ve put a lot of work into this based on what you told us,’” the agent said. “I mean, and I even said, long nights and weekends working on this trying to find out who amongst your ranks of trusted people would, would do something like that. And [Mr. McCabe] kind of just looked down, kind of nodded and said, ‘Yeah, I’m sorry.’”
When FBI investigators confronted Mr. McCabe about the leak, he denied authorizing the disclosure to the Journal. He also presented himself as a “victim,” according to the agent who conducted the interview.
After investigators received “conflicting information” on whether he ordered the leak, Mr. McCabe confessed in a follow-up interview, the transcripts said.
“I need to know from you did you authorize this article? Were you aware of it? Did you authorize it?” the investigator said he asked Mr. McCabe. “And as nice as could be, he said, ‘Yep. Yep, I did.’”
The investigator said he was surprised by Mr. McCabe’s revelation and it changed the probe by “180 degrees.”