Ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe fired by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 17.03.2018
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Ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe fired by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions

The timing of McCabe's ouster means he may lose out on a full pension after 20 years of working for the FBI. US President Donald Trump hailed the firing as a "great day for Democracy."

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe two days before the 20-year FBI veteran was set to retire.

US President Donald Trump had heavily criticized McCabe for what the president said was McCabe's bias against his administration.

Read more: FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe steps down after Trump criticism

What we know so far:

  • Sessions said on Friday: "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."
  • According to Sessions, "McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions."
  • A US inspector general report is expected to find that McCabe misled investigators during an FBI probe into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's emails. McCabe denied any wrongdoing.
  • McCabe stepped down from the deputy director position at the end of January but was still an FBI employee on leave. He would have become eligible to retire on Sunday with a full pension.

What were the reactions?

Trump wrote on Twitter: "Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI — A great day for Democracy." He added: "Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy."

McCabe said his ouster was part of Trump's "ongoing war on the FBI" and the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. He added: "This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort ... to taint the FBI, law enforcement and intelligence professionals more generally."

Read more: Acting FBI director McCabe contradicts White House statement on Comey dismissal

Trump's beef: Trump has accused McCabe of representing a broader FBI bias against his administration. He criticized McCabe in December after a media report found McCabe's wife had received political donations from a Democratic lawmaker in 2015 while she was running as a Democrat for a state Senate seat.

Trump's focus: Trump wrote on Twitter in December about McCabe's upcoming eligibility to retire with a full pension: "FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!"

Who is Andrew McCabe? The 49-year-old lawyer joined the FBI in 1996. He was the bureau's top counterterrorism official during the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. He became acting FBI director after Trump dismissed former FBI Director James Comey in May 2017.

amp/sms (Reuters, AP, dpa)

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