According to the New York Times, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken under consideration the possible firing of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe -- just days before McCabe is scheduled to retire, threatening his pension.
Mr. McCabe is ensnared in an internal review that includes an examination of his decision in 2016 to allow F.B.I. officials to speak with reporters about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. The Justice Department’s inspector general concluded that Mr. McCabe was not forthcoming during the review, according to the people briefed on the matter. That yet-to-be-released report triggered an F.B.I. disciplinary process that recommended his termination — leaving Mr. Sessions to either accept or reverse that decision.
The Times notes that lack of candor is a fireable offense, but McCabe also has been caught up in politics:
He was involved from the beginning in the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. He is also a potential witness in the inquiry into whether Mr. Trump tried to obstruct justice.
Mr. Trump’s supporters have tried to cast Mr. McCabe as part of a “deep state” that operates in secret to undermine the administration. Mr. Trump has goaded Mr. Sessions into taking action against him.
It is unclear why the inspector general, Michael Horowitz, opted to refer McCabe for disciplinary action now; Horowitz previously stated he would release a single report after his entire investigation of FBI and Justice Department activities during the 2016 election was complete.
That report is expected sometime in the spring.
Firing Mr. McCabe, even on the recommendation of the disciplinary office, would be controversial. Among Mr. McCabe’s allies, the decision would raise the specter that Mr. Sessions was influenced by Mr. Trump’s frequent derisive comments. No deputy director in the history of the F.B.I. has been fired.
Should Sessions decide to fire McCabe, which DOJ insiders believe is likely to happen by Friday, the former deputy director will lose his pension after 21 years of service.