(Bloomberg) -- The Justice Department on Thursday notified lawyers for former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe that they have rejected his appeal to avoid being criminally charged, according to a person close to his legal team. The move likely clears the way for him to be indicted for lying to federal agents.
The developments come about a month after McCabe sued the Justice Department and U.S. Attorney General William Barr, claiming his firing was unlawful. McCabe was ousted by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions last year after an internal investigation into his role in disclosing a Clinton Foundation probe to the media.
The U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia informed McCabe’s legal team last month that charges against McCabe were being recommended, according to a person familiar with the matter.
McCabe and his legal team met with Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and the U.S. attorney, Jessie Liu, on Aug. 21 to appeal the recommendation, according to the person.
McCabe’s lawyers still have the right to request a meeting with Barr over the matter, the person said.
McCabe, 51, spent two decades working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. His termination came 10 months after the firing of FBI Director James Comey, who at the time was leading the bureau’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and whether anyone associated with President Donald Trump’s campaign conspired in the operation.
Trump repeatedly pressed for the firing of McCabe, accusing him of being biased in favor of his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Terry McAuliffe, a Clinton ally, had helped fund an unsuccessful bid by McCabe’s wife for a Democratic Virginia state Senate seat in 2015 when he was the state’s governor. The president later called McCabe’s firing “a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI.”
The Justice Department declined to comment when asked about the appeal.
(Updates with details on prosecution recommendation starting in the fourth paragraph)
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