Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 11, 2017, while testifying before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on major threats facing the U.S. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Andrew McCabe, former deputy director of the FBI, who was fired for lying to federal investigators on several occasions has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice that claims, in essence, that firing him for lying while jailing typical Americans for the same thing was a very, very unfair act.
In the suit, filed Tuesday evening in U.S. District Court in Washington, McCabe’s attorney David Snyder demands copies of manuals and policies used by the Justice Department Office of Inspector General and the FBI in conducting investigations and carrying out employee discipline.
The lawsuit claims that McCabe’s firing “violated federal law and departed from applicable administrative rules, standards, policies, and procedures.” The suit does not directly challenge McCabe’s dismissal, but rather claims that the Justice Department is violating the law by refusing to identify and share the internal policies that led to his termination one day short of the 20 years’ service he would need to be eligible for an immediate pension.
“Defendants have publicly claimed, again and again, that they complied with all applicable law, policies, and procedures when they investigated, adjudicated, and dismissed Mr. McCabe from the FBI,” the suit says. “Plaintiff has repeatedly requested that Defendants disclose those policies and procedures. Those requests have been denied by some of the same high-ranking officials who were involved in, or were responsible for, the investigation, adjudication, and/or dismissal of Mr. McCabe.”
The irony of this is just too rich. While McCabe was deputy director of the FBI, the FBI became a veritable black hole for FOIA requests.
It is difficult to see what this suit accomplishes. As this case is going to go to the Merit System Protection Board (odds-on favorite here is that he’s ordered reinstated) and then to federal court where they could make the same claim as they are making here. It is also kind of difficult to take the lawsuit all that seriously. McCabe would have been provided access to a copy of the IG’s report of investigation and given an opportunity to respond to the allegations. The same applies to the Office of Professional Responsibility report that got him fired. The various policies and procedures would have been available to him at the time because he was the deputy FBI director. It seems like what they are fishing for, rather than actual policies and procedures, is statistical data to try to make the case that McCabe was singled out for disparate treatment because he and the president were not on the best of terms.
Tactically, the purpose here seems unclear. The key to McCabe’s defense is that Comey lied. I think Comey is an utter crapweasel but I have no doubt that he has a better reputation in the FBI and Justice than McCabe who seems like a petty, vindictive little man who fellated his way up the FBI food chain. It seems to me that his best play is to shut up and keep a low profile and hope the “different spanks for different ranks” rule applies in his personal case and Justice is happy to let him get by with just being fired.
Because of that, one can’t escape the feeling that this, because of its timing, has some connection to the ongoing inquiry into the criminal referral issued on McCabe for lying to investigators. What that would be, I just don’t know.
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