Andrew McCabe holds a pity party
Andrew McCabe has spoken out for the first time after his firing, and the only thing anyone can draw from it is, "What was that guy doing in the job of the deputy director of the FBI in the first place?" His whinging, self-pitying, vaguely and evasively argued self-defense of his actions, and then bizarre attempt at irony suggest an immature, slightly unstable person not fit for any position of leadership.
Get a load of this:
On March 16, I spent the day with my family waiting to hear whether I would be fired, after 21 years in the FBI and one day before I qualified for my long-planned, earned retirement.
As day turned to night, I had a lot of time to reflect on how it would feel to be separated from the organization I loved – and led – and the mission that has been the central focus of my professional life. Despite all the preparation for the worst-case scenario, I still felt disoriented and sick to my stomach. Around 10 p.m., a friend called to tell me that CNN was reporting that I had been fired. She read me the attorney general's statement.
So, after two decades of public service, I found out that I had been fired in the most disembodied, impersonal way – third-hand, based on a news account.
Firing's always tough, pal. That's why you don't want to lie to investigators for the sake of playing politics so it happens.
McCabe starts out with a minute-detail first-person account of what got him into the news, his firing, and comes off as not just a whiner, but a colossal whiner. He opens up his essay in the Washington Post not with cool hard Efrem Zimbalist-style facts about what led to his dismissal, but with a reality TV-style missive about himself and his feelings. He wants us to know that getting fired didn't feel good. It's embarrassing.
Then he gives us this:
I have been accused of "lack of candor." That is not true. I did not knowingly mislead or lie to investigators. When asked about contacts with a reporter that were fully within my power to authorize as deputy director, and amid the chaos that surrounded me, I answered questions as completely and accurately as I could. And when I realized that some of my answers were not fully accurate or may have been misunderstood, I took the initiative to correct them. At worst, I was not clear in my responses, and because of what was going on around me may well have been confused and distracted – and for that I take full responsibility. But that is not a lack of candor. And under no circumstances could it ever serve as the basis for the very public and extended humiliation of my family and me that the administration, and the president personally, have engaged in over the past year.
Accused? Nope, you got convicted, pal, from your own Office of Professional Responsibility, a green eyeshades group that doesn't take kindly to lies.
His other problem is that he's a liar, and he lies like a liar does, with vague explanations lacking specifics. That passage above is all he gives us about why he thinks he was fired. No wonder he was surprised by his firing – liars delude themselves with their own rationalizations more than anyone. Instead of telling us how he went after Donald Trump because he was sure the man was in league with the Russians or something, he gives us this muddleheaded blather about how he was but wasn't "lacking in candor" with internal investigators about some vague leak to a reporter amid no background of just why he wanted to leak and then offers absolutely no facts, no exculpatory argument, to back even himself up. He has nothing to say about the bad FISA warrant he employed to spy on President Trump's campaign team, nothing to say about his collusion with the FISA judge, nothing to say about the antics of his subordinates on the FBI lovebird team and why he tolerated that, nothing to say about his wife's taking money from the Hillary Clinton machine for her own campaign, nothing to say about why he sought to sneakily leak to reporters to manipulate the news instead of issue a press release. Most important, he has nothing to say about why he got caught in a lie about his efforts to manipulate the news, including his sneaky double-crossing of Reince Priebus to manipulate the press narrative that looks absolutely unethical. This guy got knocked out of a job based on the assessments of his own bureau's Office of Professional Responsibility as well as the Justice Department's Office of the inspector general, which is a long, lengthy administrative process, yet he would have us believe that he just got confused about the facts of his own actions and corrected his record like a Boy Scout and the whole thing was the doing of President Trump, who was in fact a bystander in this process. The reality is that he got caught in lies and knew he was caught and wanted to escape consequences. This from a man leading a bureau whose number-one virtue and requirement is absolute honesty.
He has zero recognition of how his partisan politics overtook his professional judgment or how his feelings don't outweigh the rule of law. He thought he was too big to be taken down, and he wasn't.
He then fills out his piece with rah-rah boilerplate about how the FBI is the greatest job in the world for everyone, with a preposterous, childlike statement about the only motivation for anyone joining the FBI being the idea of "doing" good rather than exerting power and getting paid well and drawing a fat pension and, at the high levels, politicking in full swamp-mode. He wants us to think everyone in the FBI is just a frustrated nun or social worker with no other motivations. Then he circles the argument back to himself with his "poor little me" plaint, going all ironic.
There is nothing like having the opportunity to be a part of the greatest law-enforcement organization in the world, working every day for goals that you respect and cherish. It is the best job you will ever have. Even if a president decides to attack you and your family. Even if you get fired on a Friday night, one day from your retirement.
Nobody is going to be moved by that. Nobody is going to be persuaded. No judge or inspector is going to be convinced that something wrong went on by that. As Lucianne Goldberg observes on her front page today: McCabe and Hillary should team up and go on tour.
What was he doing in that job? I pity his prospects even for book deals and memoirs – he lacks candor not just for his bureaucratic career's sake, but even the sake of being interesting.