The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s former deputy director, Andrew McCabe, was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday night, according to Bloomberg. McCabe was set to retire in two days.
From Bloomberg: Sessions made the politically explosive decision after the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility recommended that McCabe be dismissed for not being forthcoming about authorizing discussions with a reporter about a pending investigation.
“Pursuant to Department Order 1202, and based on the report of the Inspector General, the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, and the recommendation of the Department’s senior career official, I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately,” Sessions said in a statement.
Sessions also said: “The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability.”
McCabe, a 22-year veteran of the bureau, already had stepped down from the No. 2 position and went on leave in January. He planned to retire officially this Sunday, when he turns 50 and would become eligible for his government pension. So the question was whether Sessions would fire him before he retired.
The FBI’s professional responsibility office found that Justice Department officials had been misled by McCabe as to his role in allowing bureau officials to communicate with a reporter about the FBI’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation in October 2016.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of McCabe on Thursday, “We do think it is well-documented that he has had some very troubling behavior and by most accounts, a bad actor and should have some cause for concern.”
President Donald Trump and other Republicans had criticized McCabe for his role in the FBI’s decision not to charge twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information within private emails, as well as for McCabe’s involvement in the FBI’s Russian interference investigation.
In December, Trump reminded Sessions of McCabe’s upcoming retirement in a tweet, writing: “FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!”