In recent commentaries, I’ve made flip remarks about Andrew McCabe leaving the FBI to collect his pension, just as Lois Lerner of the IRS is collecting hers. Well, Lerner gets to keep hers, but it turns out that McCabe’s pension is very much in play.
He’s still technically employed at the FBI for a few more days --- four, to be exact, as of this writing –- but after 21 years of service could still be fired during that time and lose his benefits, valued at $1.8 million if he lives to be 83. Either way, if Inspector General Michael Horowitz has anything more to ask him before completing his report, it will have to be sooner rather than later, as he has no power to talk with anyone who is no longer working at the FBI.
The FBI’s Office Of Professional Responsibility (yes, surprisingly, the FBI has one of those) is recommending termination. He stepped down from his post as deputy director earlier this year but timed his official retirement so that he would receive full benefits. Clever, huh? Now, if he can just manage to stay employed till Sunday, the magic day, he’ll retire with full pension. If he’s fired before then, he’ll have to finish out his life as a Walmart greeter.
Just kidding --- he’s only 49, and he’ll no doubt get a huge book contract from a giant liberal publishing house and be paid the big bucks to spin the massive screw-ups of partisan hacks like Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who never thought their crass political motivations would see the light of day.
Even so, President Trump would surely love to see him given his walking papers. The Washington Post reports that as far back as December, Trump said McCabe was “racing the clock to retire with full benefits.” Of course, he knew better than to fire McCabe himself; even though he has every right and reason to do it, he’d face the same media hysteria that came when he fired FBI Director James Comey, even though McCabe isn’t even working now. Never mind that McCabe deserves to be fired, just as Comey richly deserved it --- Trump’s hands are tied in the current situation. It’s up to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire him.
If he’s fired, you can bet it’s been in the works for a while. According to a statement from the Justice Department, termination can happen only after a “prescribed process” which includes “recommendations from career employees and no termination decision is final until the conclusion of that process.” In other words, it’s not just a case of Sessions walking up and saying, “You’re fired!”
The recommendation to fire McCabe comes at least partially from information the IG uncovered and will presumably include in his report: that McCabe allowed high-ranking FBI officials to sit down with reporters from the Wall Street Journal and later misled the IG’s team about this. (McCabe denies making misleading statements.) The two officials –- one was his legal assistant and infamous pro-Hillary texter Lisa Page –- discussed an investigation into the Clinton Foundation, and talk of an ongoing investigation with the media would have been inappropriate. McCabe stepped away from his post as deputy director after his’s boss, FBI Director Chris Wray, was told of the IG’s findings.
So, is it vindictive to fire Andrew McCabe, perhaps just a few hours ahead of his retirement with full pension benefits? Would that just make the President look petty, or is making an example of McCabe a needed step in “draining the swamp” when it’s so rare to see anyone in government actually get the boot? Keep in mind that according to the Strzok and Page texts, it was in “Andy’s office” that they were talking about an “insurance policy” against Trump being President, and also that he avoided recusing himself in the Hillary case even though his wife had received a mind-blowing $700,000 for her race for the state legislature from Virginia governor and Clinton “bagman” Terry McAuliffe. With a conflict of interest like that, he should never have been anywhere near any investigation of Hillary. That’s just one more reason why he should have been tossed out long ago.
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