Andrew McCabe's firing (just before retirement) recommended by FBI Office of Professional Responsibility
Both the New York Times and Washington Post are reporting that the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility has recommended that A.G. Jeff Sessions fire Andrew McCabe, a mere days before his scheduled retirement on Sunday, after which he would be able to cash the generous pension checks that federal employees receive for the rest of his life. Depending on his longevity, that would amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars or even more.
President Trump warned of this late last year:
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2017
Via Wikimedia Commons.
This last-minute attempt at accountability comes as the first tangible disciplinary fruit of the investigation by the Department of Justice's Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who made a referral to the OPR.
Here is the Washington Post's explanation of McCabe's firing offense (Monica Showalter explained this incident for AT readers in much more detail last January):
The FBI office that handles employee discipline has recommended firing the bureau's former deputy director over allegations that he authorized the disclosure of sensitive information to a reporter and misled investigators when asked about it, leaving Attorney General Jeff Sessions to decide whether he should fire the veteran official just four days before his expected retirement date, people familiar with the matter said. ...
Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz has for some time been working on a report that blasts McCabe for allowing two high-ranking bureau officials to sit down with the Wall Street Journal as the news outlet prepared a report in 2016 on an investigation into Hillary Clinton's family foundation, then misleading the inspector general's team about his actions. A person familiar with the matter said Horowitz's findings are what sparked the Office of Professional Responsibility's recommendation, which was first reported by the New York Times. Horowitz's report has not been released, and McCabe denies having misled anyone, a person familiar with the case said.
I celebrate this move to fire McCabe, fearing that, like Lois Lerner, he could be locked into big money for no work despite his misdeeds. His firing for cause at least raises the possibility of impairing or stopping those benefits, though I am not certain that this would be automatic. Generally, federal employees enjoy extensive rights of appeal. A.G. Sessions should act promptly.
Sundance of Conservative Tree House is suspicious of the motivations behind the leak to two of the most vigorous media critics of President Trump. Given the level of intrigue we have seen within the FBI of late, I can't rule out some sort of set-up of Sessions:
If Attorney General Jeff Sessions fires McCabe, the controversial narrative is that he's desperately doing the bidding of President Trump who has tweeted about McCabe being corrupt and unaccountable.
If Attorney General Jeff Sessions doesn't fire McCabe, the controversial narrative is that Session's is showing more evidence of his own weakness and motive to protect the swamp creatures; which will make Sessions seem like he is in alignment with McCabe and simultaneously anger the President and all his supporters.
Even if this was the intent behind the leak, McCabe must be fired. And the blowback that Sundance fears can readily be dismissed on the basis of the recommendation's origins. But Sundance raises other good questions:
If there was an actual OPR office – containing any semblance of professional watchdog intent – then where the hell were they over the past few years while the entire organization was engaged in brutally corrupt activity[?]