Judge Reggie B. Walton told federal prosecutors on Monday they need to put charges forward against former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe in 38 days.
If they don’t, the Department of Justice will be forced to end their investigation into obstruction of justice and release all their evidence against McCabe to the public.
McCabe is a longtime loyalist of former President Barack Obama. He became a central figure in the creation of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of President Donald Trump.
A U.S. attorney had recommended moving forward with charges against McCabe earlier this year. Prosecutors say McCabe “lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions” during interviews on his activities related to the creation of Mueller’s probe.
McCabe has denied the allegation.
Judge Walton said at the hearing that U.S. prosecutors have until Nov. 15 to formally charge McCabe or he’ll intervene.
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“If the government has not made a call I’m going to make a ruling,” Walton said. “This is just dragging too long. And those who have to make these hard decisions need to do it. And if they don’t, I’m going to start ordering the release of information.”
“I will not condone any further delay,” he said. “You all have got to cut and make your decision”
Walton is a George W. Bush appointee who once presided over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
“It’s not a hard decision, and I think it needs to be made,” Walton said. “If it’s not made, I’m going to start ordering the release of information because I think our society, our public does have a right to know what’s going on.”
The order came after the Department of Justice complained about a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents on their probe of McCabe.
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“The FOIA suit was brought by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), in July 2018, the newspaper reported. The group filed the request after McCabe was fired in March 2018,” The Hill reported.
The Justice Department wants the documents to remain secret while they continue their investigation.
Walton ordered them to either charge and arrest McCabe soon, or he’ll hand over the requested documents to the FOIA suit.