STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Justice Department drops McCabe criminal investigation

Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe reacts after the Justice Department announced it was dropping its criminal probe without bringing charges against him. The DOJ was investigating McCabe's involvement in an authorization of a leak to a reporter about the Clinton Foundation investigation.

Posted: Feb 16, 2020 7:00 AM
Updated: Feb 16, 2020 7:00 AM

The Department of Justice is dropping its criminal investigation of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe without bringing charges, it announced on Friday.

McCabe's attorneys received a phone call and a letter from the US Attorney's Office in DC on Friday announcing the declination.

"We write to inform you that, after careful consideration, the Government has decided not to pursue criminal charges against your client, Andrew G. McCabe, arising from the referral" made by the Inspector General's office to investigate his behavior, the DC US Attorney's Office wrote. McCabe's attorneys released the letter on Friday. "Based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the Government at this time, we consider the matter closed."

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice declined to comment. A White House official said President Donald Trump was angered federal prosecutors' decision not to pursue charges against McCabe.

"To have this horrific black cloud that's been hanging over me and my family for almost the last two years, to have that finally lifted... it's a relief that I'm not sure I can really explain to you adequately. It's just a very emotional moment for my whole family," McCabe told CNN's Brianna Keilar on Friday.

Despite saying he was happy with the conclusion, McCabe called it an "absolute disgrace" that the DOJ and US attorney's office took two years before they "finally drew the obvious conclusion."

McCabe, who is a CNN contributor, has been perceived by President Donald Trump as one of his foes for his work on the early Russia investigation for the FBI.

The Justice Department previously appeared to be nearing a grand jury indictment of McCabe last fall after top officials rejected a private attempt by McCabe's lawyers to appeal any coming prosecution.

The investigation then fell silent, with McCabe's attorneys trying to get answers for months about its status. Even a federal judge attempted to force the Justice Department to give McCabe and the public an update on the investigation's status. The Justice Department refused to do so, and the judge warned the prosecutors the case was beginning to look like Trump was putting his political influence on it.

'Difficult matter'

Court documents released shortly after the decision became public on Friday shed even more light on how the investigation dragged out for months.

In July 2019, a prosecutor handling the McCabe investigation told a federal judge in a confidential hearing that "there are some minor investigative steps that have been taken recently and are continuing to be taken."

"However, it is fair to say that we are more in a decisional phase than what we would traditionally call an investigative phase," public corruption prosecutor J.P. Cooney of the DC US Attorney's Office said, according to transcripts of hearing and other court records.

Cooney told the judge more than seven months ago that his office was "nearing a decision, but for me to put a date on that is very difficult." He then suggested they'd decide what to do about McCabe by September.

In early September, Cooney was back before the judge, Reggie Walton of the US District Court in DC.

The prosecutor told Walton a public decision on the McCabe investigation and release of information about it were coming "literally within days." By the end of September, Cooney was admitting to the judge his previous timeline was incorrect.

He told Walton it was "an exceedingly difficult matter and situation."

"I don't get it," the judge responded in the closed late September hearing. "I understand there are political implications and other implications involved in reference to whether you go forward."

Walton then zeroed in on the lack of public closure regarding the investigation, comparing Trump's approach to a "banana republic."

"Because the public is listening to what's going on, and I don't think people like the fact that you got somebody at the top basically trying to dictate whether somebody should be prosecuted," the judge said. "I just think it's a banana republic when we go down that road and we have those type of statements being made that are conceivably even if not influencing the ultimate decision, I think there are a lot of people on the outside who perceive that there is undue inappropriate pressure being brought to bear."

Week of decisions

The announcement on Friday comes at the end of a bruising week for the Justice Department and especially its prosecutors in DC, after the President publicly pressured them toward his political wishes.

The Justice Department had four prosecutors in its DC US Attorney's Office quit the criminal case against Roger Stone, after departmental leadership forced the office to lessen the sentencing recommendation for Stone, a longtime ally of the President. On Thursday, Attorney General William Barr criticized the President's tweets about ongoing cases while defending his decision to go easier on Stone in advance of his sentencing.

McCabe has found himself a target of investigators and Republicans, including Trump, since 2016, when he authorized a leak to a then-Wall Street Journal reporter about a conversation he had endorsing the investigation of the Clinton Foundation. The Justice Department's independent inspector general, who looked into the incident, found McCabe had lacked candor on four occasions when he spoke to investigators about the leak. The inspector general then referred the matter to the FBI.

McCabe is also suing the Justice Department and FBI after he was fired last spring, and he has accused the President of politically retaliating against him.

This story has been updated with additional developments Friday.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 56560

Reported Deaths: 1656
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin18009819
Ramsey6944261
Dakota3991103
Anoka3365113
Stearns283120
Washington191743
Nobles17466
Olmsted162923
Scott139014
Mower10812
Rice9998
Blue Earth8525
Wright8135
Carver7792
Clay74540
Kandiyohi6761
Sherburne6497
St. Louis43619
Todd4202
Lyon4163
Freeborn3541
Steele3301
Nicollet31213
Benton3063
Watonwan2980
Winona24716
Crow Wing21313
Martin2045
Le Sueur2011
Beltrami1930
Chisago1791
Goodhue1768
Otter Tail1763
Cottonwood1710
Becker1431
Pipestone1439
Unassigned14040
McLeod1380
Itasca13212
Polk1313
Douglas1300
Waseca1280
Pine1270
Carlton1250
Dodge1230
Murray1221
Isanti1100
Chippewa981
Brown852
Faribault830
Meeker832
Morrison831
Wabasha810
Sibley792
Koochiching743
Rock740
Pennington721
Jackson700
Mille Lacs653
Fillmore610
Renville595
Cass582
Lincoln540
Swift521
Grant491
Yellow Medicine490
Roseau460
Pope430
Houston390
Norman340
Redwood300
Kanabec291
Hubbard280
Marshall280
Wilkin283
Aitkin270
Mahnomen231
Wadena230
Big Stone220
Red Lake200
Lake180
Clearwater150
Stevens150
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Kittson40
Cook20
Lake of the Woods10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 45774

Reported Deaths: 883
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk9723203
Woodbury365151
Black Hawk300362
Linn210887
Johnson193315
Dallas178935
Buena Vista178512
Scott159312
Dubuque153729
Marshall138924
Pottawattamie121723
Story110914
Wapello84932
Muscatine82648
Webster7255
Crawford7193
Sioux5952
Cerro Gordo57617
Tama53729
Warren5281
Jasper45524
Plymouth4438
Wright4431
Louisa37914
Dickinson3754
Clinton3173
Washington28710
Hamilton2411
Boone2282
Franklin2205
Bremer1877
Clarke1863
Carroll1811
Emmet1791
Clay1711
Hardin1650
Shelby1611
Marion1530
Allamakee1514
Poweshiek1468
Benton1431
Jackson1411
Des Moines1392
Mahaska13617
Floyd1292
Guthrie1265
Jones1242
Cedar1201
Hancock1172
Butler1142
Henry1133
Pocahontas1131
Buchanan1111
Lyon1020
Madison1022
Clayton983
Cherokee971
Harrison970
Lee953
Taylor930
Humboldt921
Delaware901
Monona900
Iowa891
Winneshiek851
Calhoun822
Mills820
Fayette810
Sac810
Palo Alto790
Kossuth780
Jefferson770
Osceola770
Mitchell760
Page760
Winnebago760
Grundy741
Union701
Monroe677
Worth610
Chickasaw510
Cass481
Davis481
Howard480
Lucas454
Montgomery433
Appanoose423
Greene380
Fremont350
Van Buren321
Keokuk301
Ida290
Audubon281
Decatur220
Adair210
Ringgold211
Adams160
Wayne161
Unassigned80
Rochester
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 45°
Mason City
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 42°
Albert Lea
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 45°
Austin
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 45°
Charles City
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 46°
Some more rain in the forecast
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

New Location for Day Center

Image

Looking Ahead: Relay for Life on Sat.

Image

Rochester Awards CARES Act Funding

Image

Ballot Question About Park Funding

Image

School District to Implement Mask Mandate

Image

Honkers fall short to Willmar

Image

A fitting farewell to a member of greatest generation

Image

Charter Takes Hiring Online

Image

Rochester city council considers compensation oversight

Image

Sara's 10pm Newscast - Monday

Community Events