23:16 GMT26 February 2020
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    Andrew McCabe briefly served as the FBI's acting director, and was unceremoniously fired by President Trump just hours before his retirement in March 2018.

    The Justice Department has moved to close a criminal inquiry investigating whether former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe lied to investigators about the illegal disclosure of information to media regarding an FBI probe into former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's emails in 2016.

    In a letter released to media on Friday, McCabe's attoneys said that "based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the government at this time, we consider the matter closed."

    The criminal investigation against McCabe began after the release of a report by the Office of the Inspector General in 2018 which accused him of inappropriately authorizing the leak of information about the Clinton Foundation to Wall Street Journal reporter Devlin Barrett in the run up to the 2016 presidential election, and of lying to his boss, James Comey, about doing so. After the release of the report, McCabe was fired by the then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    A judge paved the way for charges against McCabe in September.

    McCabe briefly served as acting FBI director between May and August of 2017 after President Trump fired Comey. Last year, it was reported that McCabe had helped plot what could effectively be characterized as a coup d'etat against Trump following Comey's dismissal, although nothing came of these plans.

    Last August, McCabe sued the US government over his firing, asking to be reinstated to be able to collect some $1.8 million in lost pension cheques. McCabe still receives a reduced pension of $40,000 a year, and accumulated over $500,000 'to cover legal fees' in a GoFundMe campaign after being fired. He has since released a memoir, and been hired as a CNN contributor.

    Last year, an informed source told UK media that McCabe and British counterpart Jeremy Fleming from the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) had exchanged a series of texts about possible Russian meddling in the UK's Brexit vote, and regarding (since discredited claims concerning) possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign in 2016.

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