Long before he was fired by Jeff Sessions for an alleged "lack of candor" under oath, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe authorized a criminal investigation of the attorney general for allegedly lying to Congress about his Russia contacts, sources tell ABC and NBC. The sources say Sessions was unaware of the federal perjury investigation when he decided to fire McCabe two days before his scheduled retirement date. Then-Sen. Al Franken was among those who called for a perjury investigation last year after it emerged that Sessions had failed to disclose talks with Russia's ambassador during his confirmation hearings. Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation because of the talks.
In November, Sessions told a House panel that he hadn't lied about a meeting in which a Trump aide boasted about Russian contacts—he had only forgotten about it. The Sessions investigation was eventually handed over to special counsel Robert Mueller, who interviewed the attorney general earlier this year. Sessions' lawyer says the FBI investigation ended without criminal charges and Sessions is no longer being investigated. "The special counsel’s office has informed me that after interviewing the attorney general and conducting additional investigation, the attorney general is not under investigation for false statements or perjury in his confirmation hearing testimony and related written submissions to Congress," attorney Chuck Cooper said in a statement to the New York Times. (Read more Jeff Sessions stories.)