It’s over. Former Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe has been fired from the bureau. The announcement occurred a little after 10 P.M. The move comes around two days prior to McCabe receiving his hefty pension package. That is now in doubt, though The Washington Post said McCabe could file a lawsuit to receive full benefits. He spoke with FBI officials for four hours this week to ensure he wasn’t terminated before his pre-determined retirement. McCabe was forced out of his position at the FBI in January, but he wasn't fired. He was put on something called "terminal leave," where he remains employed at the FBI until his retirement that was set to be later this month. It would've allowed him to obtain that $1.8 million pension that was lined up (via WaPo):
Attorney General Jeff Sessions late Friday night fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, a little more than 24 hours before McCabe was set to retire.
Sessions announced the decision in a statement just before 10 p.m., noting that both the Justice Department Inspector General and the FBI office that handles discipline had found “that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions.”
He said based on those findings and the recommendation of the department’s senior career official, “I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately.”
The move will likely cost McCabe a significant portion of his retirement benefits, though it is possible he could bring a legal challenge. McCabe has been fighting vigorously to keep his job, and on Thursday, he spent nearly four hours inside the Justice Department pleading his case.
McCabe was cited for improperly disclosing the friction between the Department of Justice and the FBI over the investigation into the Clinton Foundation to The Wall Street Journal, and for misleading investigators when questioned about it in a DOJ inspector general report. Due to this revelation, the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility recommended his termination.
In a statement, Attorney Jeff Sessions explained why he decided to terminate McCabe effective immediately:
After an extensive and fair investigation and according to Department of Justice procedure, the Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) provided its report on allegations of misconduct by Andrew McCabe to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).
The FBI’s OPR then reviewed the report and underlying documents and issued a disciplinary proposal recommending the dismissal of Mr. McCabe. Both the OIG and FBI OPR reports concluded that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor - including under oath - on multiple occasions.
The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability. As the OPR proposal stated, “all FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal and that our integrity is our brand.”
Pursuant to Department Order 1202, and based on the report of the Inspector General, the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, and the recommendation of the Department’s senior career official, I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately.
UPDATE: McCabe says the Obama-appointed IG is singling him out.
FULL TEXT: Former FBI Deputy Director McCabe releases statement on firing, says effort 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." pic.twitter.com/1sCqxZysG1— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) March 17, 2018
McCabe accuses IG Horowitz, an Obama appointee, of singling him out to appease Trump. https://t.co/gurWfkqUgs— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) March 17, 2018
UPDATE II: President Trump says McCabe firing is a “great day for democracy.”
Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI - A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2018