Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging his firing last year was retaliation for the bureau’s probe into alleged ties between members of President Trump’s campaign and Russia.
The suit claims that Mr. McCabe was terminated for failing to pledge “partisan allegiance” to the president and when he refused, Mr. Trump vindictively sought to end his career.
“It was Trump’s unconstitutional plan and scheme to discredit and remove DOJ and FBI employees who were deemed to be his partisan opponents because they were not politically loyal to him,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiff’s termination was a critical element of Trump’s plan and scheme.”
Mr. McCabe claims in the suit that the president’s actions harmed his reputation, professional standing and dramatically reduced his retirement benefits. Since his ousting, Mr. McCabe has frequently appeared as a guest on left-leaning talk shows and authored a book.
The lawsuit’s goal is to restore Mr. McCabe’s pensions. He was dismissed in March 2018 just two days before his retirement and hours before his 50th birthday, when his full law enforcement pension would have vested. He has spent more than 20 years in the bureau and was demoted shortly before his firing.
Mr. McCabe has asked a federal judge to void his demotion and firing, and award the retirement benefits that he had lost.
FBI Director Christopher A. Wray and Attorney General William P. Barr are also named as defendants, although it was Mr. Sessions who ordered Mr. McCabe’s firing.
In the suit, Mr. McCabe said Trump pressured Justice Department officials to fire him.
The Justice Department has maintained it fired Mr. McCabe because of a “lack of candor” in interviews with investigators probing a 2016 media leak about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded Mr. McCabe mislead investigators about who authorized the leak, concluding the disclosure advanced his “personal interests.”
Mr. McCabe has denied any wrongdoing.
He is the second former FBI official to file a lawsuit against the bureau this week. Ex- FBI agent Peter Strzok, whose derogatory texts about the president became national headlines, is also asking to reinstated.
• Jeff Mordock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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