A court filing by the Justice Department makes it unlikely former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe will be prosecuted after being fired for unauthorized leaks to the media.
The filing on Wednesday notes that the department will no longer shield documents regarding McCabe from public release.
In its filing, the DoJ said it withdraws its argument that releasing public records related to McCabe would interfere with an enforcement proceeding that is ongoing, the Washington Times reported.
Typically, the government only invokes the exception, known as 7(A), when it is involved in an ongoing investigation or prosecution.
“Defendant hereby informs the court that it is withdrawing its invocation of Exemption 7(A) over information related to the proceeding,” Justice Department lawyers wrote.
The Times noted that attorneys for McCabe declined comment.
The court filing came as the DoJ faced a deadline set by a federal judge to announce whether or not criminal charges against McCabe would be filed.
In October U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton set a Nov. 15 deadline for the Justice Department to say whether or not it will indict the former ranking FBI official.
If the government failed to state whether or not it would charge McCabe, Walton said he would begin releasing documents related to McCabe’s case.
“So the government will have to make the call. If it doesn’t, I’m going to start ordering the release of information,” Walton said. “I think our society, our public does have a right to know what’s going on.”
Critics of McCabe hoped that he would be charged in relation to his alleged role in a counterintelligence operation against the 2016 Trump campaign.
Documents and reports indicate that McCabe may have released information to the media in furtherance of that counterintelligence operation.
McCabe was fired by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions for unauthorized leaks of sensitive information to the media, then lying about it to federal investigators.