Andrew McCabe may have been fired from the FBI, but his tenure there could have lasting implications.
The now former FBI no. 2 documented his interactions with President Donald Trump in memos, which he has now reportedly handed over to special counsel Robert Mueller. According to a source close to the matter, the memorandums will become pivotal pieces of evidence in Mueller’s investigation.
The special counsel had been investigating, among a plethora of other things, whether Trump obstructed justice while dealing with FBI officials, including the firing of the agency’s former director James Comey and his second, Andrew McCabe. Incidentally, Comey also kept memos of his conversations with Trump, which Mueller is already looking through.
On Friday, McCabe was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, only 26 hours before his retirement, which would have guaranteed him a full pension. Sessions alleged McCabe gave the green light to disclose information about an ongoing criminal investigation and then misled the investigators about the probe. McCabe denied these allegations.
In a CNN interview, McCabe said he had three face-to-face interactions and one phone call with Trump in May 2017, while he was acting FBI director. During those instances, Trump vilified him every time about his wife’s failed Virginia Senate run and the hundreds of thousands of dollars she received for her campaign from a close friend of Hillary Clinton.
McCabe also confirmed the president has asked him whom he voted for in the 2016 election — to which McCabe replied he had not voted at all.
McCabe has alleged he was fired because his memos corroborate Comey’s accounts of Trump. Although it is not certain what’s inside the memos, the documents can help reveal whether McCabe was unfairly besmirched by the Trump administration, removing the allegations that he misstated interactions with Trump.
“Here is the reality: I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey,” McCabe said.
When McCabe was fired, Trump lauded the decision on Twitter, calling it a “great day for democracy.”
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
Later, Trump’s personal lawyer called for the probe to be ended — a move Democrats denounced.
“The president, the administration, and his legal team must not take any steps to curtail, interfere with or end the special counsel’s investigation or there will be severe consequences from both Democrats and Republicans,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) tweeted.
Misleading investigators is a fireable offense, although law enforcement officials are curious to know to what degree, if any, McCabe had done so.
The reaction inside the FBI was mixed. Some expressed anger at Sessions for firing McCabe so close to his retirement date. However, source said McCabe was not loved by everyone in the agency and that his firing was “coming to him.”
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Reuters/Eric Thayer