Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, a frequent target of President Donald Trump’s wrath, sued the FBI and the Justice Department on Thursday over his termination.
What We Know:
- The lawsuit, the second this week from an ex-FBI official challenging the reasons of his termination, says the firing was part of Trump’s plan to rid the bureau of leaders he believed were disloyal to him. The stated reason for the firing was that McCabe had misled investigators over his involvement in a news media leak, but McCabe says the real reason was “his refusal to pledge allegiance to a single man.”
- McCabe was with the FBI for 21 years before he was fired from the agency in March 2018 after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions accepted an internal recommendation that he gets fired, according to NBC News. His termination happened less than two days before he was set to retire and become eligible for full pension benefits. This timing deprived him of his ability to retire with a full pension.
- McCabe had taken control of the agency in 2017 after the abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey. He stepped down from the FBI in 2018 but was still on the federal payroll and had plans to retire.
- In the suit, McCabe alleged that his termination was the product of “Trump’s unconstitutional plan and scheme to discredit and remove DOJ and FBI employees who were deemed to be his partisan opponents because they were not politically loyal to him.” Additionally, the lawsuit asks for a judge to declare McCabe’s firing unconstitutional and to declare him entitled to his full pension and other benefits.
- On Tuesday, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was fired over derogatory text messages he sent about Trump, also sued the FBI and Justice Department. He claims the FBI had been influenced by “unrelenting pressure” from the president when he was fired.
- This feud began in the fall of 2016 when McCabe’s wife accepted campaign contributions from a political action committee associated with former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe during an unsuccessful run for the state Senate there. McAuliffe is a close ally to Bill and Hillary Clinton, who was under investigation at the time for her use of a personal email server. Trump also called McCabe “a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax — a puppet for Leakin’ James Comey.”
McCabe has denied any wrongdoing and repeatedly said the president’s attacks on him were designed to discredit him.
Remember this, Andrew McCabe didn’t go to the bathroom without the approval of Leakin’ James Comey!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2019