Jeff Sessions considering whether to fire Andrew McCabe ahead of his retirement
Jeff Sessions considering whether to fire Andrew McCabe ahead of his retirement
Steve Helber Getty Images
14 March, 2018, 23:04
WASHINGTON ― Andrew McCabe, who took over as acting head of the FBI after President Donald Trump fired former Director James Comey previous year, may soon be fired by the Trump administration just ahead of his formal retirement date on Sunday, putting his pension in peril after more than two decades at the bureau.
As first reported Wednesday by The New York Times, Sessions is now reviewing a recommendation to fire McCabe for alleged lack of candor in his discussions with the Justice Department's inspector general in the course of an investigation into how the Justice Department and the FBI handled the Clinton investigation.
A source at the time told Fox News that McCabe is taking "terminal leave" - effectively taking vacation until he reaches his planned retirement in a matter of weeks.
If Mr. Sessions does fire Mr. McCabe, it would place his pension as a 21-year government employee in jeopardy, The Times said.
But if the Federal Bureau of Investigation fires McCabe with just days to go before his retirement, it could be viewed as bending to the will of a vindictive president.
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McCabe stepped down as deputy director in January, reportedly amid concerns raised by the inspector general report.
The inspector general faulted McCabe for his decision to allow officials to speak with reporters about the bureau's investigation into the Clinton Foundation. "That yet-to-be-released report triggered an F.B.I. disciplinary process that recommended his termination - leaving Mr. Sessions to either accept or reverse that decision".
"The Department follows a prescribed process by which an employee may be terminated", spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement. "We have no personnel announcements at this time". Trump has previously suggested McCabe was biased in favor of Clinton, pointing out that McCabe's wife, who ran as a Democrat for a seat in the Virginia legislature, received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the political action committee of Terry McAuliffe, the former governor of Virginia and a noted Clinton ally.
"FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits", Trump tweeted in December. Trump asked previous year.
The President repeatedly took to Twitter to blast Mr McCabe's role overseeing FBI investigations of the Clinton Foundation - a philanthropic enterprise established by former President Bill Clinton - and of former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server when she was Secretary of State.
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