Photographic evidence of Andrew McCabe engaging in an in-your-face violation of the Hatch Act.
Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe will take early retirement from the FBI in March, according to a report in the Washington Post.
This is long overdue. It was obvious long before Christopher Wray was confirmed that McCabe was part of the problem and not part of the solution. McCabe is currently under investigation by the Department of Justice IG for his blatant violation of the Hatch Act. When his wife was running for a state senate seat in Virginia, she received $675,000 either directly from Clinton bagman, ally, and Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe or from entities over which McAuliffe exercised total control. These two things are not illegal, though for a “non-political” law enforcement official to be in this position skirts the edge of the “appearance of misconduct rule.”
I posted a detailed account of McCabe’s Hatch Act violations–they aren’t “gray area” violations, they are blatant “the law doesn’t apply to me” violations–back in June. In short, he used his official FBI biography as part of her effort to be selected as the preferred Democrat candidate, he appeared in her campaign literature wearing her campaign gear, he posted images of him holding supportive messages, and he used his official FBI email to promote his wife’s candidacy.
According to FBI documents, McCabe was in charge of the Hillary Clinton email investigation from February 2016 until he recused himself on November 1, 2016.
And, of course, as deputy director, McCabe was up to his eyebrows in the Trump dossier. As the guy running the day-to-day business of the FBI, it is impossible that the proposal to pay retired British spy Christopher Steele some $50,000 to continue his investigation escaped his notice.
Since the firing of Peter Strzok, we’ve learned that McCabe and Strzok, on at least one occasion, spoke at some length about the presidential race, and, given the tenor of the text messages, we can presume they all talked about the necessity of Hillary Clinton winning. What makes this conversation so damning is that McCabe cleared Strzok to work on Mueller’s Russia probe.
As I noted earlier today, the FBI’s general counsel met with a reporter who was actively promoting the Trump dossier.
While there was no fire, per se, there was enough smoke and stench that it was clear that McCabe was not going to survive in the long run. McCabe’s actions, and those of a lot of other senior FBI staff, left the casual observer the option of believing he was stupid or that he just didn’t care about rules and thought he was bulletproof…or that the Deep State is real and had been accidentally revealed.
Before his testimony this past Tuesday, Trey Gowdy had this to say:
GOWDY: I’m still trying to figure out why three FBI agents are discussing politics in the deputy director’s office. Because you’re not supposed to discuss politics on federal ground and FBI agents aren’t supposed to engage in politics for Hatch Act reasons. Remember, we were supposed to interview Andy McCabe yesterday on another committee. It was all set up and ready to go, then, at the last minute, they said he can’t come Tuesday, he’s going to come next week. I’ll be shocked if he comes next week. I’ll be a little bit surprised if he’s still an employee of the FBI this time next week.
According to the Washington Post, McCabe will retire in March:
Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s deputy director who has been the target of Republican critics for more than a year, plans to retire in a few months when he becomes fully eligible for pension benefits, according to people familiar with the matter.
McCabe turns 50 on May 5 and this, under the peculiarities of the federal retirement system for FBI agents, allows him to retire at full benefits (1.7% of the average of his high-three pay years, times 20). I’m assuming in March that he’ll sign out on leave and not come back.
Of course, the anti-Trumpers who were crying in their beer over James Baker’s demotion are putting a brave face on it
A word of caution on the Andrew McCabe story. I have always assumed that McCabe would retire in March to let Wray build his own team. So I would not see this as part of any purge. The question about McCabe was always whether he would be forced out early.
— Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) December 23, 2017
McCabe’s ouster is a very good thing. The FBI had become highly politicized under Comey. Political loyalties drove major investigations, not the law or the evidence. Wray inherited an executive staff that was not only loyal to Comey but was hostile to the current administration. Pushing the general counsel aside and forcing the retirement of McCabe is a great chance for Wray to build his own team. A professional and non-partisan team. For a change.