WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The former FBI deputy director scheduled to retire on Sunday, Andrew McCabe, may be fired over allegations that he misled investigators about sharing sensitive information with the media, which would make him ineligible for full retirement benefits, according to the Washington Post and New York Times on Wednesday.
McCabe, a frequent target of President Donald Trump’s wrath, let Federal Bureau of Investigation officials in 2016 speak with reporters about a probe into Hillary Clinton’s family foundation, according to media reports. Trump defeated Clinton in the presidential election that year.
The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility said McCabe made misleading comments about the interview later and has recommended McCabe be dismissed, according to the Washington Post and New York Times.
When asked about the reports, the Justice Department said in a statement: “The Department follows a prescribed process by which an employee may be terminated. That process includes recommendations from career employees and no termination decision is final until the conclusion of that process. We have no personnel announcements at this time.”
Through a representative, McCabe declined to comment to the Washington Post. McCabe did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
McCabe stepped down from his post as the FBI’s second-in-command in January after Trump repeatedly accused him of political bias, but remained on the payrolls in order to qualify for full retirement benefits.
Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Lisa Shumaker