As a rule, I’m not happy to see anyone lose their job. But there are exceptions. And Andrew McCabe is one of those.
I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised when the FBI’s own Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) recommended his termination. The FBI has historically administered discipline based on connections and rank and things that get a senior person told “don’t do it again” frequently result in the firing of lesser mortals. For how it works, try this excerpt:
When “Agent Smith” made a headline-grabbing appearance at a dinner party with a guest list that included an individual connected to the defendant in a major case he was supervising, a conflict-of-interest was suggested. Subsequently, a disciplinary case was opened.
Now, let’s say Mueller wanted the option to dismiss Smith even if the facts of the case did not support dismissal. To make this possible, after an investigation, the centerpiece of which would be Smith’s testimony, a proposal would be made by Mueller’s surrogate charging Smith with lying.
The charge would likely hinge on something as indistinct from each other as the color “scarlet” and the color “red.” The charge also would be likely to misrepresent the significance of supporting evidence or omit contradicting evidence, or both.
Hence, the charge might be worded like this:
“When asked to describe the vehicle you drove to the dinner party, you said the vehicle’s color is red. However, the manufacturer lists the color as scarlet. Since you attended a university whose official color is scarlet, you should have known the difference between scarlet and red. I, therefore, charge you with ‘lying under oath,’ and if found to be true, that you be dismissed from the FBI.”
Considering that the FBI OPR Chief, Candace Will, is a long-time associate of Robert Mueller and was appointed to head OPR by Mueller in 2004, the idea that this was calculated to hurt Mueller’s investigation is silly.
McCabe is being fired for lying to Department of Justice IG investigators. Period. He is not going to jail, which he would if he were you or me.
With that as a backdrop, when President Trump got the news, being, well President Trump, he did the obligatory Electric Slide across the grave of McCabe’s career via Twitter:
Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2018
Former CIA Director, known leaker, and plank-holding member of the #Resistance came unglued. No, he actually lost his sh**
When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America…America will triumph over you. https://t.co/uKppoDbduj
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) March 17, 2018
At some point I expected to hear him belting out a take on “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” But in a much more nasal voice at least an octave higher.
When all is said and done in this sordid affair, Donald Trump will still be the 45th President of the United States and his performance will be measured in what he accomplished and what he tried to accomplish. Because we all know the Russia collusion hoax is just that.
Brennan will be used as the case study for what happens when a partisan hack harnesses the power of the intelligence community in an effort to subvert our Constitutional processes and overturn an election. I think between the two, I like the odds of Trump’s legacy much better than Brennan’s.