Andrew McCabe’s pension might be in jeopardy and some Democratic lawmakers aren’t having it.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired the former FBI director on Friday. McCabe was just two days away from retiring after a 21-year career in the U.S. government, but the forced exit might cost him his pension.
This possibility doesn’t sit right for a number of reasons, most notably because McCabe has been one of Donald Trump’s frequent targets for online bullying. Although the firing came at the end of an ostensibly independent investigation, Trump’s past treatment of McCabe coupled with the timing creates a perception that the president’s ire influenced this outcome.
There’s been some suggestion that giving McCabe two additional days of government work could guarantee his pension. It’s not clear how true that actually is, but a number of sympathetic lawmakers leapt on the opportunity to float McCabe job offers on Twitter.
Andrew McCabe: I have the need to hire a Special Senior Staff Attorney to help me with my work on the House Judiciary Committee dealing with threats to the Constitution and the rule of law in America. You’re perfect for the job. DM me.
— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) March 17, 2018
This reckless attitude towards Americans’ lives and careers is exactly why this man should not be President. Mr. McCabe, if you need a federal job for a few days, give me a call. We value servant leadership around here.
— Rep. Tim Walz (@RepTimWalz) March 17, 2018
Again: It’s not clear if any of these jobs would actually help McCabe. But this is politics, where the message often carries just as much importance as the result. These lawmakers are as horrified as anyone that vindictive and petty behavior in the White House might cost this man his pension, and they’re using the platforms they have to broadcast their feelings in a possibly constructive way.
McCabe has been a target of Trump’s for some time. He stepped in as acting director of the FBI after Trump fired James Comey in May 2017. McCabe eventually returned to his former role, that of deputy FBI director, after Trump appointed Christopher Wray as Comey’s successor.
The animosity lingered, however. Trump’s dislike seems to stem from McCabe’s connection to Comey; both men held their director/deputy director roles the FBI during the 2016 U.S. election, which included investigations into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and Russia’s election meddling.
Reports have also suggested that Trump has some kind of issue with McCabe’s wife. Jill McCabe ran for a Virginia state senate seat as a Democrat in 2015, and she received campaign donations from Terry McAuliffe, a friend of the Clinton family.
In Trump’s unhinged worldview, that connection qualifies as suspicious behavior. Or something.
Many outside observers feel that McCabe is in a position to corroborate Comey’s testimony to special counsel Robert Mueller, the independent investigator charged with looking into Russia’s role in the 2016 election. Legal experts have previously suggested that Trump’s firing of Comey amounts to an obstruction of justice, so the attacks on McCabe could also be viewed as an attempt to discredit a future witness.
As with all matters involving Donald Trump, there are layers upon layers to unpack here. But McCabe’s firing just two days before he was set to retire — and Trump’s gloating response — is clearly troubling to a number of key figures inside the government.
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
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