On Thursday (April 19) sources told CNN that the Inspector General’s (IG) Office made a criminal referral to the local US Attorney’s Office in D.C. It is unclear when the referral was made but the IG’s office issued a report last Friday (April 13) detailing a series of lies told to former Fbi Director James Comey, internal investigators and their office. McCabe denies the allegations, of course.

What happened?

The whole issue stems from a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) story from October 2016 when it was reported that McCabe authorized two FBI officials to speak to reporters about the Clinton Foundation.

The problem is that it was an active, ongoing investigation, and no one should have spoken on the subject. The Inspector General’s office says that Andrew McCabe was not forthcoming about his role in approving officials to speak about the case and there was a "lack of candor" on McCabe's part.

McCabe has said publicly that he was one of the few people who could have authorized this, so he is not denying that he approved the two FBI officials to speak to the press. He maintains he did nothing wrong. The situation, however, becomes a bit dicey when James Comey, his former boss, enters the picture.

According to Comey, he says he was never told by McCabe or anyone else that McCabe was authorizing anything to be said to the media.

In fact, in a CNN interview on Thursday (April 19), Comey acknowledged that he could very well be called as a witness if Andrew Mccabe is prosecuted and this is because the two worked together. He would not comment further.

What does it all mean?

At this point, no charges have been filed and this is not an investigation. This is a criminal referral, meaning, that they, the IG, thought there was enough evidence collected to begin a criminal investigation, reported CNN’s Laura Jarrett.

In moving forward, the US Attorney’s Office will look to see if any crimes have been committed and whether or not it would be worth charging the former director. And to be clear, this does not mean he will be charged or that he did anything criminal, but if something criminal is found, the case would then be passed to charging authorities.

The conduct that they would be investigating is whether or not he made false statements or lied under oath. This is important because it could uncover the leaking/providing of information that was confidential or from the Grand Jury, says Goldman, a former federal prosecutor.

Time will tell

McCabe’s attorney Michael Bromwich issued a public statement late Thursday afternoon (April 19) saying, “We were advised of the referral within the past few weeks. Although we believe the referral is unjustified, the standard for IG referral is very low."

He also added that he and his client met with staff members from the US Attorney’s Office and said, they are "...confident that, unless there is inappropriate pressure from the high levels of the Administration, the US Attorney’s Office will conclude that it should decline to prosecute.”

In the coming days and weeks, information will surely surface as to who is telling the truth and if any charges will be filed against McCabe. In the meantime, America will be waiting for more information on the Russia probe, and of course, the ongoing federal criminal investigation of Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's lawyer.