Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was set to retire on Sunday, has been fired for leaking information to the media and for failing to be forthcoming when questioned.
The U.S. Justice Department said in a statement late on Friday that the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility had recommended McCabe’s firing, citing an unauthorized disclosure to the media and for lacking candor – including under oath – on multiple occasions.
McCabe is accused of allowing FBI officials to speak to the Wall Street Journal for a story in October 2016 that revealed that the FBI and the Justice Department were taking differing approaches to an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. An internal report claims that McCabe was not forthcoming when asked about it.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions accepted the recommendation of the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility and McCabe was fired on Friday, effective immediately. McCabe would have been eligible for a government pension if he had retired on Sunday, but Friday’s firing jeopardizes that benefit.
McCabe has criticized the probe against him, calling it an attempt to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible links to President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
“Here is the reality: I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of [FBI Director] James Comey,” McCabe said in a statement after being fired.
McCabe claimed that the probe against him was accelerated only after he had indicated that he would corroborate statements made by Comey, who was fired by Trump in May 2017. McCabe served as acting FBI director for nearly three months.
“The [Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General’s] focus on me and this report became a part of an unprecedented effort by the Administration, driven by the President himself, to remove me from my position, destroy my reputation, and possibly strip me of a pension that I worked 21 years to earn,” McCabe said.
Trump attacked McCabe on multiple occasions over the past year, calling him “a Comey friend” and suggesting that he was biased in the investigations involving former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.