On Jan. 28, Andrew McCabe stepped away from his responsibilities as Deputy Director of the FBI. This was due to an internal probe that was responsible for reviewing the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton. McCabe planned on using his vacation time until he would be eligible for full federal pension benefits in March.
Jumping to Friday, March 16, McCabe was just 26 hours from reaching full pension eligibility when he was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The FBI recommended firing McCabe because he allegedly lied about his authorization during the aforementioned FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton.
McCabe strongly disagreed with the FBI recommendation. In an official statement, he claimed that he was removed in order to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
“Andrew McCabe fired, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for democracy,” President Donald Trump said on Twitter. “He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!”
Former Director of the Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub suggested that the circumstances in which McCabe was fired may be due to a partisan vendetta.
“The AG strips an FBI leader of a big chunk of his pension based on an allegation that he may have done what Sarah Sanders does every day at work,” Shaub said on Twitter. “While Gen. Flynn keeps his pension after admitting to committing crimes in office.”
President Trump has been attacking McCabe and the FBI since before he took office. All the negative press caught the attention of James Gagliano, a retired supervisory special agent at the FBI.
In an interview with NPR, Gagliano cited an Axios poll that revealed that only 49 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the FBI. He worries that without the public’s trust, the FBI may not be able to pursue investigations to the best of their ability. When addressing the timing in which McCabe was fired, Gagliano was straightforward with his answer.
“Now, whether you’re on the job for two days…or whether you’re two days away from retirement, it doesn’t matter,” Gagliano said. “Lack of candor is a serious offense.”