Live

Watch CBSN Live

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, fired by Jeff Sessions, led probe into Sessions

McCabe: Firing effort to damage Russia probe

Now-fired former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe oversaw a federal criminal investigation into whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions lacked candor when testifying before Congress last year about his contacts with Russian officials, a source familiar with the investigation tells CBS News' Paula Reid. Sessions fired McCabe late Friday, at the recommendation of FBI officials. 

The investigation was opened before special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed, Reid reports. A Justice Department official says Sessions was not aware of this investigation until he found out about it from reports. 

ABC News first reported that McCabe had been in charge of the investigation into Sessions. Sessions' testimony raised alarm bells, but this is the first time it has been reported that there was actually a criminal probe of Sessions' actions. 

An upcoming DOJ inspector general report is expected to criticize McCabe as a part of its investigation into the bureau's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Sessions' attorney, Chuck Cooper, told CBS News Sessions is not currently under investigation for false statements or perjury.

"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," Sessions'  - from AG Sessions Attorney Chuck Cooper. 

The FBI says it has no comment.

Sessions recused himself from the FBI's investigation into Russian election meddling and any ties to the Trump campaign — a fact that has irritated Mr. Trump, even though Sessions continues to stand by that decision. 

CBS News' Paula Reid and Andres Triay contributed to this report.