Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe slammed former President Donald Trump after winning back his full pension as part of a settlement of his lawsuit arising from his firing by Trump’s justice department.
McCabe, a frequent target of Trump who called him ‘a poor man’s J. Edgar Hoover’ and ‘a disgrace,’ was fired in March 2018 after the Justice Department’s inspector general concluded he had authorized the release of information to a newspaper reporter and then misled internal investigators about his role in the leak.
The termination by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions came hours before McCabe was due to retire, denying his pension.
The settlement agreement vacates that decision, expunges from his personnel folder any references to having been fired and entitles McCabe, who joined the FBI in 1996, to his full pension.
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe slammed former President Donald Trump after winning back his full pension as part of a settlement of his lawsuit arising from his firing by Trump’s justice department
McCabe, a frequent target of Trump who called him ‘a poor man’s J. Edgar Hoover’ and ‘a disgrace,’ was fired in March 2018
The termination by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions came hours before McCabe was due to retire, denying his pension
In a statement, McCabe felt vindicated.
‘Politics should never play a role in the fair administration of justice and civil service personnel decisions,’ McCabe said in a statement. He added that he hopes ‘this result encourages the men and women of the FBI to continue to protect the American people by standing up for the truth and doing their jobs without fear of political retaliation.’
However, in an appearance on CNN later Thursday with Anderson Cooper, McCabe went after Trump for his treatment of himself and his family.
‘It was so bizarre. To know that you have a target on your back from the most powerful person in the world … it was upside-down world. I can’t even describe how terrifying and annoying and humiliating it is. That’s what he subjected people to for four years,’ McCabe said.
He added that he blames not just Sessions, but the rest of his DOJ and the FBI for the original decision. He hopes this judgement in his favor prevents it from happening again.
In an appearance on CNN later Thursday with Anderson Cooper, McCabe went after Trump for his treatment of himself and his family
He also blamed the FBI and DOJ for ‘complying’ with the Trump administrations’ whims
He criticized the entire DOJ, including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein
‘It’s a great thing for my family, but it’s a message to government employees and civil servants everywhere, this is the [Biden] DOJ standing up for fairness and the rule of law,’ he said. ‘They agree members of the exec branch shouldn’t interfere in internal matters.’
McCabe has denied intentionally deceiving anyone, was never criminally charged and has blasted his firing as politically motivated and part of the Trump administration’s ‘ongoing war on the FBI.’
The trouble for McCabe began on May 9, 2017, when he sat down with internal investigators to talk about a different leak to a media organization, Circa.
McCabe has denied intentionally deceiving anyone, was never criminally charged and has blasted his firing as politically motivated and part of the Trump administration’s ‘ongoing war on the FBI’
Trump at one point said that he was ‘racing’ McCabe to retirement
FBI Director Christopher Wray was among those who McCabe said made this decision political
The agents also asked McCabe about a Oct. 30, 2016 story that appeared in the Wall Street Journal headlined, ‘FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe.’
The story detailed ‘tensions’ within the FBI and the Department of Justice on the heels of the discovery that there were more of Clinton’s emails on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner prompting the bureau to reopen the closed investigation that had haunted her presidential campaign.
With just days to the 2016 election, then FBI Director James Comey had written a letter to Congress saying the probe had been reopened, creating a media frenzy that bogged down the Clinton campaign. The Wall Street Journal story insinuated that not everybody at the FBI was happy with Comey’s decision.
McCabe was asked by the investigators if he had authorzied the article and he said he didn’t know its origins, according to The Daily Beast.
May 9, 2017 was also the day President Trump fired Comey, creating disarray at the bureau.
On Aug. 18, 2017, McCabe was asked about the Journal article again.
McCabe apologized in real time as he admitted to internal investigators that he had green-lit a Wall Street Journal piece that said the bureau was conflicted on how to deal with the Clinton email probe
The article detailed ‘tensions’ within the FBI after more of Hillary Clinton’s emails were discovered on Anthony Weiner’s laptop days before the election. James Comey told Congress the probe had been reopened, something supporters said helped tank her campaign
‘I need to know from you,’ the investigating agent said, ‘did you authorize the article? Were you aware of it? Did you authorize it?’
McCabe looked at the story and then answered in the affirmative.
‘And as nice as could be, he said, yep. Yep I did,’ the transcript quoted the agent saying.
The investigator quickly realized that McCabe could face criminal prosecution for the admission, noting, ‘things had suddenly changed 180 degrees with this.’
‘In our business, we stop and say, now we’re getting into an area for due process,’ the agent said in a side account of what transpired, according to the Beast.
‘I was very careful to say … with all due respect, this is what you told us. This has caused us some kind of, you know, sidetracking here now with some information other people have told us,’ the agent continued.
The investigator recalled airing frustrations to McCabe’s face.
McCabe says he assumes Trump will continue ‘tormenting’ him and his family beginning tomorrow
‘I’m just to the point where I don’t care what that guy has to say,’ McCabe said of the former president
‘I remember saying to him … sir, you understand that we’ve put a lot of work into this based on what you told us,’ the agent said. ‘I mean, and I even said, long nights and weekends working on this, trying to find out who amongst your ranks of trusted people would, would do something like that.’
And that’s when McCabe showed remorse.
‘And he kind of just looked down, kind of nodded, and said, yeah, I’m sorry,’ the agent recalled.
The Beast reported that McCabe’s lawyer explained what happened by pointing to Comey’s firing happening the same day the ex-deputy director denied getting the story out.
The story changed, the lawyer said, because McCabe wasn’t prepared to answer the question, and then he didn’t give it a second thought due to the chaos surrounding Comey’s ouster.
Trump, who at the time was relentlessly railing against the FBI for its investigation into ties between Russia and his 2016 presidential campaign, called the termination a ‘great day for Democracy’ shortly after it was announced.
McCabe sued in 2019, saying his firing was part of an effort by Trump to purge the FBI of officials he perceived as disloyal.
He had become acting director of the FBI in May 2017 after Trump fired James Comey amid the bureau’s Russia investigation, a termination that was examined by special counsel Robert Mueller for potential obstruction of justice.
As part of the settlement, McCabe is also entitled to other benefits afforded to retiring FBI senior executives, including special cufflinks and ‘official FBI credentials, badge, and time-in-service award keys mounted in the format typically provided to retiring FBI Deputy Directors’ and other senior officials, according to the settlement
‘For 140 years, civil servants like Andrew McCabe have been the federal government’s backbone, pledging their loyalty to the Constitution rather than to any politician or political party,’ Murad Hussain, a lawyer for McCabe, said in a statement.
‘This settlement and the district court’s rulings make clear that attempts to corrupt the federal workforce through partisan intimidation and improper political influence will not go unanswered,’ he added.
A spokesperson for the Justice Department, which did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, did not immediately return an email seeking comment.
Though the settlement restores McCabe’s pension, it does not undo the inspector general’s finding that McCabe had displayed a lack of candor under questioning from investigators.
McCabe told CNN Thursday night that he doesn’t expect that this will change former President Trump’s opinion of him.
‘I feel better but I don’t feel free,’ he said. ‘I don’t kid myself to think the president is going to put aside his horrific judgement, his constant lying, his tormenting of me and my family, I’m sure this’ll just add another log to the fire.
‘I’m just to the point where I don’t care what that guy has to say.’