Update: President Trump tweets that McCabe's firing "is a great day for the hard working men and women of The FBI... and democracy," then lashes out at "sanctimonious" former FBI Director Comey's "lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI" indicating that his actions made McCabe "look like a choirboy."
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
Perhaps this means Trump will lay off the constant trolling of Sessions for a while?
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As we detailed earlier, after a long day of what seemed like the swamp protecting one of their dirtiest creatures, Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, just over 24 hours before he was set to retire and claim his full pension benefits.
McCabe turns 50 on Sunday - the earliest he would have been eligible for his full retirement benefits.
Sessions noted that both the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz as well as the FBI's disciplinary office had found "that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor - including under oath - on multiple occasions."
So, McCabe was involved in leaks and he lied under oath.
Horowitz found that McCabe had authorized two FBI officials to talk to then-Wall Street Journal reporter Devlin Barrett for a story about the case and another investigation into Clinton’s family foundation. Barrett now works for The Washington Post. -WaPo
"I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately," said Sessions, who said he based his decision on the findings.
While the move will probably cost McCabe a significant portion of his retirement benefits, he could challenge it in court.
Former FBI officials tell CNN that McCabe could also lose out on future health care coverage in his retirement, but the "most significant 'damage' to a separated FBI employee is: loss of lifetime medical benefits for self and family," tweeted CNN law enforcement analyst James A. Gagliano, a retired FBI supervisory special agent.
On Thursday he spent almost four hours at the DOJ to beg for his full retirement.
Full statement from AG Sessions:
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.
McCabe responded to his ouster, saying that his firing, along with negative comments by President Trump were meant to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, reported the New York Times.
"The idea that I was dishonest is just wrong,” said McCabe, adding, “This is part of an effort to discredit me as a witness.”
Mr. McCabe was among the first at the F.B.I. to scrutinize possible Trump campaign ties to Russia. And he is a potential witness to the question of whether Mr. Trump tried to obstruct justice. Mr. Trump has taunted Mr. McCabe both publicly and privately, and Republican allies have cast him as the center of a “deep state” effort to undermine the Trump presidency. -NYT
While McCabe's firing is directly related to the disclosure of sensitive information to the media about the Clinton email investigation, the former Deputy Director took a leave of absence in January amid a heated controversy over the FBI's conduct surrounding the 2016 election.
In December, The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has discovered that edits made to former FBI Director James Comey's statement exonerating Hillary Clinton for transmitting classified info over an unsecured, private email server went far beyond what was previously known - as special agents operating under McCabe changed various language which effectively decriminalized Clinton's behavior.
McCabe's team also conducted a counterintelligence operation to investigate the Trump campaign, in which they used an unverified dossier and were not forthright with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) over its political origins, in violation of FBI policy.
As revelations of FBI misconduct spiraled out of control last year, President Trump noted that McCabe was "racing the clock to retire with full benefits."
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2017
On Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said “We do think that it is well documented that he has had some very troubling behavior and by most accounts a bad actor."
While "background conversations with reporters are commonplace in Washington," notes the Washington Post, "McCabe’s authorizing such a talk was viewed as inappropriate because the matter being discussed was an ongoing criminal investigation."
One wonders how long before McCabe writes his multi-million-dollar 'tell-all' book... or when he will start his new job? We hear the offers are pouring in...
Congrats to Andrew McCabe on his new job at CNN!— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) March 17, 2018