- Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe is reportedly meeting with senior DOJ officials to ask them not to fire him three days before he’s set to retire.
- McCabe was forced out of the bureau earlier this year amid an internal investigation into his handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe.
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reportedly weighing whether or not to fire McCabe – a decision that could come as soon as Friday.
- McCabe’s potential firing could also imperil his pension benefits and jeopardize his financial future.
Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe will make a final appeal to the Department of Justice on Thursday, begging them not to fire him days before he’s set to retire, The Washington Post reported.
McCabe was forced out of the FBI earlier this year amid an internal investigation by the Office of Inspector General into his approval of unauthorised disclosures to the media in October 2016 about the bureau’s Hillary Clinton email probe.
He’s scheduled to retire on Sunday, and a possible firing – which sources told The New York Times could could as soon as Friday – could endanger his pension benefits.
The Department of Justice’s inspector general Michael Horowitz reportedly concluded in a report that McCabe was not forthcoming during the OIG review. The FBI office subsequently recommended that Attorney General Jeff Sessions fire McCabe, according to The Times.
McCabe is not meeting with Sessions, who is travelling on Thursday, but with senior officials, including Scott Schools, the top career attorney at the DOJ, according to the Post.
The Wall Street Journal article at the center of the OIG’s inquiry was published on October 30, 2016, two days after then-FBI director James Comey announced in a letter to Congress that the bureau was reopening its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct government business when she was secretary of state.
The article was a highly detailed account of internal strife within the top ranks of the DOJ about how to proceed after FBI agents investigating former New York congressman Anthony Weiner discovered 650,000 emails on his laptop that could have been sent to or from Clinton’s private email server.
The reporter who authored the Journal’s article, Devlin Barrett, was in touch with two top FBI officials on the phone two days before the story broke, according to text messages released in February. The officials were FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who often worked with McCabe, and then-FBI spokesman Michael Kortan.
While law-enforcement officials often speak to the press on background in order to provide more complete details about an ongoing story, they are prohibited from revealing information about ongoing investigations, like the Clinton email probe.
McCabe stepped down as deputy director in January after FBI director Christopher Wray briefed him on the impending OIG report about his conduct.
The deputy director’s ouster came following a string of public attacks President Donald Trump leveled against him, accusing him of putting his thumb on the scale in favour of Clinton.
Trump’s attacks were based on information contained in a separate Wall Street Journal article published one week before Barrett’s.
McCabe’s wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, mounted an unsuccessful run for a Virginia state Senate seat in 2015. The Journal reported on October 24, 2016 that her campaign received $US675,000 in donations from the Virginia Democratic Party and from Common Good VA, the super PAC run by Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton supporter. None of the donations came from Clinton or her family.
Trump latched onto the revelations, accusing McCabe of corruption and anti-Trump bias based on his wife’s political campaign.
McCabe wasn’t in charge of the Clinton investigation at the time, and didn’t take on an “oversight role” in the probe until February 2016, long after his wife lost her election bid.
He started his career at the FBI New York field office in 1996, and spent 22 years at the bureau, working his way up to acting director.