Andrew McCabe Is Back To Discovery The Sh*t Out Of The FBI
Former deputy FBI director Andy McCabe is back, and he just dumped a whole pile of ugly receipts on Donald Trump's desk. McCabe's wrongful termination lawsuit accuses the Department of Justice and the FBI of abetting "Trump's unconstitutional plan and scheme to discredit and remove DOJ and FBI employees who were deemed to be his partisan opponents because they were not politically loyal to him." If Peter Strzok was aggrieved in his suit filed two days ago, McCabe is furious. He's here for his pension, sure. But also, he's ready to burn that shit down to the ground.
McCabe's arguments can be broadly divided into two categories: His First Amendment rights were violated when President Babyshits ordered his subordinates to fire him as political retribution for the Russia investigation. And his Fifth Amendment due process rights were violated because the termination occurred after he had actually retired, and then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions's 10 p.m. "Ur Fired" email failed to comply with laws protecting civil servants.
In theory, McCabe was fired because he lied about authorizing FBI lawyer Lisa Page to talk to the Wall Street Journal about Clinton emails found on pervert Anthony Weiner's laptop. McCabe denies that he "lacked candor," as the rushed OIG report claims, but even if he had, he'd still be entitled to due process and a regular civil servant's legal protections. Yes, even if the Mean Girl in Chief really, really wanted him gone.
But McCabe alleges that the OIG report was simply pretextual bullshit, as Trump and his goons had told him just days after the inauguration and over and over during the following year that they questioned his commitment to the Trump administration and accused the FBI of "not being good partners" to the White House.
As usual, there's ample evidence of Donald Trump's malicious intent right there in his own Twitter feed.
Trump tweeted a lot about a donation from Terry McCauliffe's PAC to McCabe's wife's Virginia state Senate run, but he didn't have a word to say about McCabe's "lack of candor" until after they'd raced to fire him before midnight the day his pension would vest, in one of the most shameful acts of political revenge in the country's history.
After asking him who he voted for, calling his wife "a loser," castigating him for not helping to gin up a bogus justification for firing James Comey, accusing him of being part of the FBI "resistance," and numerous tweets demanding that Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and FBI Director Christopher Wray fire him, Donald Trump finally got his wish and snatched away McCabe's earned pension and healthcare benefits two hours before midnight at the end of a 20-year term of distinguished government service.
Speaking of Rosenstein and Wray, they hardly covered themselves in glory in this episode. The only "evidence" of McCabe campaigning for his wife in her 2015 state Senate run was a single photo of him wearing a campaign T-shirt at his kid's swim meet. Nevertheless Rod Rosenstein suggested that McCabe's support for his own wife presented a "credibility issue" with the White House for the Russia investigation, to which McCabe replied, essentially, "Maybe someone with such glaring conflicts yourself should watch your mouth, PAL."
Plaintiff also explained that he had a memorandum from the FBI's chief ethics officer stating that there was no basis to find that Plaintiff had any conflict (or the appearance of one) warranting his recusal from the Russia investigation. Plaintiff then suggested that Rosenstein should consider recusing himself from the Russia investigation, given Rosenstein's own potential conflict as a likely witness in that investigation. In response, Rosenstein did not state or even suggest that he had an ethics opinion supporting his continued work on the Russia investigation.
As for Wray, McCabe alleges that he caved to pressure from the White House and demoted McCabe from deputy director on January 28, 2018, while refusing to state the reason, and then pressured him to issue a public statement falsely claiming that he was choosing to be demoted.
When Plaintiff asked Wray to explain his specific concerns about Plaintiff, Wray refused, saying that he had promised Sessions that he would not discuss specifics with Plaintiff. Wray told Plaintiff he had two options for his demotion: (1) Plaintiff could transition to a lesser role of his own choosing if he falsely announced to the FBI that he had stepped down voluntarily; or (2) if Plaintiff refused to announce that his resignation was voluntary, Wray would reassign Plaintiff to a lesser role of Wray's choosing.
As for Inspector General Michael Horowitz, under intense pressure from Trump and Sessions to hurry up find some evidence they could use to push McCabe out before his pension could vest, he agreed to do an expedited report, separate from the one on the wider Clinton investigation, on McCabe alone. Nevertheless, Wray insisted that everything was done by the book and in accordance with normal procedure.
In fact, it was not normal procedure, as Office of Professional Responsibility head Candice Will alluded to in her handwritten note to Wray and Deputy FBI Director David Bowdich.
The enclosed letter and ROI [Report of Investigation] will now also be provided to the DAG [Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein] as he has final decision making authority over adverse disciplinary actions impacting the DD [Deputy Director]. It seems unlikely that this will reach final resolution before Mr. McCabe's March 18 retirement date, but that is up to the DAG.
In point of fact, it was not "up to the DAG," since McCabe had not been deputy director for two months when the memo was written. McCabe was a regular FBI employee entitled to all the standard civil service protections, and Director Wray bore responsibility for his own department's personnel decisions. When Jeff Sessions sent McCabe that 10 p.m. email on the evening of Friday, March 16, after the close of business, after the FBI had debited his leave account for the entire day, and after his retirement party, he said that McCabe "should be removed," pursuant to the AG's authority under DOJ Order 1202. But McCabe argues, "Under DOJ Order 1202, because Plaintiff remained a senior executive but was no longer Deputy Director, any decision to remove him would have to be made by Defendant Wray rather than by DAG Rosenstein or AG Sessions."
In plain English, YOU CAN'T FIRE HIM, HE ALREADY QUIT. And also, YOU CAN'T FIRE HIM, THAT'S WRAY'S JOB.
Besides which, terminations of civil service employees have to be hand delivered, in writing, state the reason for the termination, state the date of termination, and have specific appeal procedures. None of which was in Sessions's idiotic email.
McCabe's complaint lays out several other alleged violations of his due process rights in the rush to make Donald Trump happy by stripping a career public servant of his pension. As Associate Deputy AG Scott N. Schools admitted to McCabe's lawyer on March 19, 2018, "We're making it up as we go along."
So McCabe wants the court to declare Sessions's email termination illegal, or at least ineffective, and reinstate him so that McCabe can quitfire himself with a full pension.
Karma's a bitch. And so is discovery.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.