Sessions Considering Firing FBI's McCabe Days Before Retirement, Jeopardizing His Pension

Casey Dawson
March 15, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is now reviewing a request to fire former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, who has been on a leave of absence from the bureau since January and is set to officially retire on Sunday.

Firing Mr. McCabe, even on the recommendation of the disciplinary office, would be controversial.

The FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility issued the recommendation after receiving information from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Sessions now has to decide whether to accept the recommendation, according to the Times.

"The department follows a prescribed process by which an employee may be terminated", Sarah Isgur Flores told the newspaper. "That process includes recommendations from career employees and no termination decision is final until the conclusion of that process". "We have no personnel announcements at this time".

In the past, the president has tried to connect the dots between McCabe and Clinton over a campaign donation his wife received from Clinton ally, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. But it seems McCabe hasn't been a Trump favorite, either. The president remarked in December that McCabe was "racing the clock to retire with full benefits".

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The Justice Department's inspector general has been looking into McCabe's actions as part of a broader investigation into the handling of the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. McCabe represents but a piece of that work. Though Trump has criticized McCabe as biased against him, the story in question actually undercut that narrative and suggested that Federal Bureau of Investigation officials wanted to more actively probe the Clinton Foundation but were discouraged from more aggressive steps by the Obama Justice Department.

The Journal story, published in October 2016, reported on disagreement in the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department over the handling of the Clinton Foundation probe amid DOJ concerns about the strength of the evidence.

"Why didn't A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation", the president demanded to know last June. "The Justice Department's inspector general concluded that McCabe was not forthcoming during the review, according to the people briefed on the matter".

The Wall Street Journal report was written by Devlin Barrett, who is now a reporter with The Washington Post.

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