On Friday night the United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired now Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, which comes just a day before he could retire.
Though McCabe stepped down as Deputy Director in late January, he remained on the federal payroll, planning to retire on Sunday. The firing places his federal pension in jeopardy.
Sessions said the firing was justified because an internal review apparently found that McCabe had leaked information to the press and mislead investigators. McCabe denied the claims, saying he was fired because he is a key witness to the Russia investigation.
In a statement, McCabe said:
“This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement and intelligence professionals more generally. It is part of the administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the special counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the special counsel’s work.”
This was the first statement that McCabe had spoken candidly of his anger at the Trump White House. In it, he portrayed a remarkable picture of an administration that tried to politicize its principal law enforcement arm, the FBI, and discredit several of the bureau’s longtime leaders, all in an effort to escape scrutiny of Trump by the special counsel.
McCabe noted in his statement that he had knowledge that could be useful to Mueller’s investigation into events involving the president.
Unlike Trump’s removal of Comey last year, which produced a widespread resentment inside the FBI, McCabe’s termination was recommended by the agency that he has served for 21 years.
This Sunday is McCabe’s 50th birthday, which would have made him eligible for certain substantial retirement benefits. Now thanks to the current administrations moves, those benefits are up in the air.
Featured photo via CBC News