Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe is fighting back after being fired, saying he has been “singled out” and will no longer remain silent in the face of the “unrelenting assault” on his reputation.
“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 in a statement following being fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday.
He recounted being attacked by negative press in the past year and a half that “leveled every sort of false, defamatory and degrading allegation” against him and his family.
“The President’s tweets have amplified and exacerbated it all. He called for my firing. He called for me to be stripped of my pension after more than 20 years of service. And all along we have said nothing, never wanting to distract from the mission of the FBI by addressing the lies told and repeated about us,” he said in the statement. “No more.”
The 21-year-veteran on the FBI, who stepped aside as the agency’s deputy director in January, was fired just hours before his scheduled retirement was to take effect, putting his lifetime pension at risk. Sessions made his decision under mounting pressure to fire McCabe and after reviewing a recommendation by the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility to terminate him.
Statement from Attorney General Jeff Sessions on terminating FBI’s Andrew McCabe. pic.twitter.com/0ZcmbNT2R4
— TRUMP News 24/7 (@MichaelDelauzon) March 17, 2018
McCabe directed his anger at President Trump, pointing to an “unprecedented effort by the Administration, driven by the President himself, to remove me from my position, destroy my reputation, and possibly strip me of a pension that I worked 21 years to earn.”
“This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally,” he said. “It is part of this Administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel’s work.”
An internal report from the DOJ inspector general, cited by FBI Director Chris Wray as the reason for McCabe’s decision to step aside earlier this year, concluded that he was not forthcoming with answers regarding his 2016 decision to allow F.B.I. officials to speak with reporters about a Clinton Foundation investigation.
“I literally walked into the building every day expecting that I would be removed from my position before the end of the day,” he told Politico in an interview earlier this month before he was fired, calling the ordeal “personally devastating.”
“And I firmly believe that this is an ongoing effort to undermine my credibility because of the work that I did on the Russia case, because of the investigations that I oversaw and impacted that target this administration,” he told the publication.
McCabe denied ever misleading investigators and directly pointed to Trump’s attacks on him during an interview with CNN, citing the president’s criticism of McCabe’s wife who ran for a Virginia State Senate seat as a Democrat, receiving campaign donations from a political committee run by Clinton ally and then-Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.
“In May, when Director Comey was fired and I had my own interactions with the President, he brought up my wife every time I ever spoke to him,” McCabe told CNN. “Of course, I disagreed with him. I don’t see my wife’s decision to try to enter public life to help her community (have) greater access to healthcare as a mistake or a problem.”
Trump has frequently criticized McCabe and took to Twitter after he was fired, saying it was a “great day for the hard-working men and women of the FBI” and democracy. He also slammed the “sanctimonious ” former FBI Director James Comey for making McCabe “look like a choirboy.”
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