Friday September 25th, 2020 10:10PM

Ex-FBI official Andrew McCabe sues over his firing

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, a frequent target of President Donald Trump's ire, sued the FBI and the Justice Department on Thursday over his firing.

The lawsuit, the second this week from an ex-FBI official challenging the circumstances of his termination, says the firing was part of Trump's plan to rid the bureau of leaders he perceived as disloyal to him.

The complaint contends that the two officials responsible for demoting and then firing McCabe — FBI Director Chris Wray and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions — created a pretext to force him out in accordance with the president's wishes.

The stated reason for the firing was that McCabe had misled investigators over his involvement in a news media leak, but McCabe says the real reason was "his refusal to pledge allegiance to a single man."

"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," the lawsuit says.

The federal complaint accuses the FBI and Justice Department of straying from established policies, with Wray refusing to tell McCabe why he was being fired and a senior Justice Department lawyer telling McCabe's own lawyer that they were "making it up as we go along."

It says the government sped up disciplinary proceedings so McCabe could be fired ahead of his planned retirement and without receiving full benefits. The lawsuit asks for a judge to declare McCabe's firing unconstitutional and to declare him entitled to his full pension and other benefits.

Spokespeople for the FBI and Justice Department declined to comment Thursday.

McCabe has been a target of Trump's attacks since even before he was elected, after news emerged in the fall of 2016 that McCabe's wife had accepted campaign contributions from a political action committee associated with former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe during an unsuccessful run for the state Senate there.

McAuliffe is a close ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton, who was being investigated at the time for her use of a personal email server.

Trump seized on the news, falsely claiming that McCabe oversaw the Clinton email investigation at the time the contributions were made and that McCabe had decided to close the FBI investigation into her without bringing charges.

The attacks continued after Trump's victory, with the president working to force McCabe from government by pressuring Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and others, the lawsuit says.

After McCabe refused on policy grounds to publicly refute a news story about contacts between Russia and Trump campaign associates, the then-White House chief of staff Reince Priebus told McCabe that he and the FBI were "not being good partners" to Trump, according to the complaint.

"Trump's purge targeted Plaintiff in particular because Trump had already decided during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign that Plaintiff was his partisan enemy by virtue of Plaintiff's marriage," the lawsuit said.

Around the time of Wray's August 2017 swearing-in as FBI director, Sessions asked him to fire McCabe, the lawsuit says. Wray refused, saying he would not allow personnel decisions to be politicized.

In December, Trump took to Twitter to call for McCabe's firing, retweeting the comment of another user that said, "Wray needs to clean house. Now we know the politicization even worse than McCabe's ties to McAuliffe/Clinton."

McCabe was fired in March 2018 after a Justice Department inspector general report found he had repeatedly misstated his involvement in a news media disclosure regarding FBI investigations involving Clinton. The watchdog office referred the matter to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, which has been investigating.

McCabe has denied any wrongdoing, and has said the inspector general's conclusions relied on mischaracterizations and omissions, including of information favorable to McCabe.

On Tuesday, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was fired over derogatory text messages he sent about Trump, also sued the FBI and Justice Department. He said the FBI had been influenced by "unrelenting pressure" from the president when it fired him.

McCabe spent 21 years with the FBI. He became acting director in May 2017 after the president fired former director James Comey.


Follow Eric Tucker at

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington
© Copyright 2020
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Ex-FBI official Andrew McCabe sues over his firing
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has sued the FBI and the Justice Department over his firing
4:24PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Attacker kills 4 in series of stabbings in California cities
Attacker kills 4, wounds 2 in series of stabbings in Southern California cities
4:23PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Willie Nelson comes off tour, cites 'breathing problem'
Willie Nelson comes off tour because of a "breathing problem"
4:15PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
In Mexico, thousands more names added to border wait lists
About 40,000 people are on waiting lists in Mexican border cities to claim asylum in the US or have been returned to Mexico while their cases wind through US immigration courts
3:35PM ( 52 minutes ago )
Hundreds attend funeral of Israeli soldier stabbed to death
Hundreds attend the funeral of an 18-year-old Israeli soldier who was found dead with stab wounds hours earlier near a Jewish settlement in the West Bank
3:22PM ( 1 hour ago )
Border numbers dip below 100k for 1st time in months
Border numbers dip below 100k; collaboration with Mexico cited
3:14PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Indian PM: Changes in Kashmir will free it from 'terrorism'
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told the nation that he stripped Kashmir of its statehood and special constitutional status in order to free the disputed Himalayan region of "terrorism and separatism"
2:20PM ( 2 hours ago )
Fearing the next AOC, House Democrats hoard campaign cash
House Democratic incumbents are raising money fearing upstarts like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
2:14PM ( 2 hours ago )
Puerto Rico, with 3 governors in a week, considers a 4th
A day after Puerto Rico got its third governor in less than a week, top officials from new leader Wanda Vázquez's own party are talking openly about their desire to see a fourth
1:56PM ( 2 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Attacker kills 4 in series of stabbings in California cities
Attacker kills 4, wounds 2 in series of stabbings in Southern California cities
4:23PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Willie Nelson comes off tour, cites 'breathing problem'
Willie Nelson comes off tour because of a "breathing problem"
4:15PM ( 12 minutes ago )
US urges increased caution for Americans visiting Hong Kong
The U.S. government has stepped up its warnings to travelers to Hong Kong because of increasing violence surrounding pro-democracy protests
4:12PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Experts push for domestic terrorism law after attacks
Lawmakers are being pushed to create a domestic terrorism law after mass shootings in Texas, California and Ohio
4:11PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Russian military says 2 dead, 4 injured by rocket explosion
Russia's Defense Ministry says two people have died and four others have been wounded in a rocket engine's explosion
3:56PM ( 31 minutes ago )