When last we checked in on former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, he was telling 60 Minutes why he opened an obstruction and counterintelligence investigation into the president of the United States.
“I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground, in an indelible fashion”, McCabe said in the interview, his first since being fired early last year.
He also confirmed stories about Rod Rosenstein suggesting that he (Rosenstein) was prepared to wear a wire to record Donald Trump in the Oval Office.
That interview aired in February.
Fast forward nearly six months, and McCabe is suing the Justice Department and the FBI in connection with his dismissal at the hands of Jeff Sessions, whose March 2018 rejection of an appeal that would have allowed McCabe to retire with his pension, still stands as one of the more egregious acts of overt cruelty (not to mention obstruction) committed under the Trump administration.
The lawsuit is hilarious, frankly – assuming you can find humor in the painstaking recitation of heinous acts of injustice. Here’s a passage from the suit, which is embedded in full below:
Trump, acting in an official capacity as President of the United States, is responsible and accountable for Defendants’ actions. Trump purposefully and intentionally caused the unlawful actions of Defendants and other Executive Branch subordinates that led to Plaintiff’s demotion and purported termination. It was 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. Plaintiff’s termination was a critical element of Trump’s plan and scheme. Defendants—as well as then-Attorney General (“AG”) Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (“Sessions”), Defendant Barr’s predecessor—knowingly acted in furtherance of Trump’s plan and scheme, with knowledge that they were implementing Trump’s unconstitutional motivations for removing Plaintiff from the civil service. Trump demanded Plaintiff’s personal allegiance, he sought retaliation when Plaintiff refused to give it, and Sessions, Wray, and others served as Trump’s personal enforcers rather than the nation’s highest law enforcement officials, catering to Trump’s unlawful whims instead of honoring their oaths to uphold the Constitution. Were it not for Trump’s plan and scheme and the complicity of Defendants and other Executive Branch subordinates, Plaintiff would have otherwise been permitted to retire as he had long planned.
That is one scathing indictment of America’s top law enforcement and intelligence personnel and it comes straight from a man who was, himself, a top-ranking member of the law enforcement and intelligence community.
McCabe’s suit goes on to marvel at the sheer audacity and pettiness of Trump’s (ultimately successful) gambit.
“Defendants responded to Plaintiff’s two decades of unblemished and non-partisan public service with a politically motivated and retaliatory demotion in January 2018 and public firing in March 2018— on the very night of Plaintiff’s long-planned retirement from the FBI”, the suit reads.
In case you need a refresher, McCabe got himself wrapped up in an internal review, which encompassed a probe into a 2016 decision to allow FBI personnel to speak to reporters about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. The DoJ’s inspector general determined that McCabe wasn’t forthcoming and that, in turn, set in motion the disciplinary process that recommended his termination.
As Politico writes, summing up, “the lawsuit comes just two days after former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok filed a similar lawsuit, alleging that Trump’s vendetta against him led to his unceremonious firing, despite a formal disciplinary process that recommended a less severe punishment”. Strzok wants his old job back (or money for lost pay). McCabe is after his full retirement benefits.
One certainly imagines Trump will instruct William Barr to spare no expense to deny McCabe the benefits that should have rightfully accrued to him for his two decades of service to the country.
That said, Trump will almost certainly make McCabe’s case for him by lashing out on Twitter. In fact, the lawsuit cites the president’s habit of incriminating himself on social media.
“Trump’s use of threats and accusations to cause his subordinates to act is memorialized in his tweets”, the suit says. The tone is almost incredulous.