A race for dismissal before his retirement on Sunday. That’s All Folks!
Andrew McCabe, a former acting and deputy FBI director who had drawn the ire of President Trump, was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions late Friday evening, a decision that raises important questions about the independence of both the Justice Department and the FBI.
Trump and his associates are a focus of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and McCabe’s firing could send the message to federal law-enforcement officials that they risk their jobs and reputations if they displease the president.
In his first public comments on the matter, just after midnight, Trump effusively praised McCabe’s dismissal:
Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2018
More below the fold ….
Late Friday, Sessions released a statement saying that the department’s Office of the Inspector General, which has investigated the FBI’s handling of the probe into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails, found “that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor–including under oath–on multiple occasions.”
Seems as if powers have shifted away from the might of the FBI as fully independent under J. Edgar Hoover. What has become of America? 😉
Nothing to add really …
The Justice Department inspector general is preparing a damaging report on former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, alleging he was responsible for approving an improper media disclosure, two people familiar with the matter said. One of the people said McCabe will also be accused of misleading investigators about his actions.
The report is a part of Inspector General Michael Horowitz‘s broad review of the FBI and Justice Department’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
During that work, inspector general investigators found that McCabe had authorized the disclosure of information to the Wall Street Journal for an October 2016 story that examined feuding inside the FBI and Justice Department around the handling of a separate investigation into Clinton’s family foundation, two people familiar with the case said.
Those probing the matter say McCabe, who stepped down in January, misled them when they initially inquired about the subject, though one person familiar with the forthcoming report said McCabe disputes that he intentionally misled investigators.
It is unclear how McCabe is said to have misled them. The inspector general’s findings on the media disclosure were first reported by the New York Times.
Statement from Andrew McCabe: “I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey.”
“The OIG’s focus on me and this report became a part of an unprecedented effort by the Administration, driven by the President himself, to remove me from my position, destroy my reputation, and possibly strip me of a pension that I worked 21 years to earn. The accelerated release of the report, and the punitive actions taken in response, make sense only when viewed through this lens.”