The department revealed the decision to McCabe’s team on Friday; it was unclear if there were other plans to make it public. The move will surely infuriate Trump, who has raged publicly and privately in recent months that McCabe and others he considers political enemies should be charged with crimes.
Michael R. Bromwich and David Schertler, McCabe’s lawyers, said in a statement that the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office had called and informed them that the case “has been closed.” The call was followed by a letter from J.P. Cooney, chief of that office’s fraud section, the lawyers said.
“At long last, justice has been done in this matter,” the lawyers said. “We said at the outset of the criminal investigation, almost two years ago, that if the 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.”
McCabe authorized the FBI to begin investigating Trump personally for possible obstruction of justice in connection with the probe into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
But the veteran law enforcement official later became the focus of a grand jury probe over allegations from the Justice Department inspector general that he lied to investigators exploring a media disclosure. The investigation was led by the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office; a spokesman for that office declined to comment Friday.
What exactly happened in the case remains unclear. Justice Department officials authorized prosecutors to seek an indictment of McCabe last year, and in September, a grand jury that had been hearing evidence was summoned back after a months-long hiatus to consider the case. But the day came and went with no public charges being filed. McCabe’s legal team sought to press the Justice Department for a status update but was told nothing.
The media disclosure at issue came in the fall of 2016, a particularly fraught period in the bureau when officials were wrapping up an investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state and starting to ramp up the Russia case.
McCabe authorized two FBI officials to speak for a Wall Street Journal report detailing tension inside the FBI and Justice Department over the Clinton email case and a separate investigation of the Clinton family foundation. But he initially denied having done so when FBI officials — and, later, the inspector general’s office — tried to determine who might have spoken to the media.
The inspector general accused McCabe of lying at least four times, three of them under oath, and even misleading then-FBI Director James B. Comey, his boss.