UPDATE — 3/21, 4:38 p.m. EDT: ABC News is reporting sources have told the media outlet now-fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe had led an investigation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Senate confirmation testimony.
The now-closed case specifically involved inquiring about the truthfulness of statements Sessions made regarding his knowledge of Russia’s involvement in Trump’s 2016 campaign. Originally, the former Alabama senator swore he had not met with any Kremlin officials about the presidential election, but later admitted to meeting the Russian ambassador on two occasions that year.
While a source said the attorney general was unaware of McCabe’s investigation, a lawyer for Sessions refused to comment.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions sacked former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe late Friday following what the attorney general said was an “extensive and fair investigation” into McCabe’s professional conduct.
Mr. McCabe, a 21-year veteran of the Bureau, was less than two days from retiring with a full early federal pension.
McCabe’s future had been in doubt since January when he was forced to step away from his post over a DOJ Office of Inspector General (OIG) report which concluded McCabe had made unauthorized disclosures to the media while he was involved in the FBI probe of the Clinton Foundation.
Prior to his taking leave, in the two years he served as the top FBI deputy, McCabe was at the center of inquires into Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server and alleged Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election.
McCabe had been on leave until his scheduled retirement, expected March 18.
When the matter was handed over to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), an intensive review recommended McCabe’s firing over unauthorized disclosures and lacking candor when questioned under oath.
In a statement explaining McCabe’s dismissal, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said:
“Both the OIG and FBI OPR reports concluded that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions.”
“The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability. As the OPR proposal stated, all FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal and that our integrity is our brand.”
In a lengthy statement responding to his dismissal, McCabe wrote he was fired because he is able to verify former FBI Director James Comey’s interactions with President 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. The release of this report was accelerated only after my testimony to the House Intelligence Committee revealed that I would corroborate former Director Comey’s accounts of his discussions with the President. The OIG’s focus on me and this report became a part of 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.” he said in a statement.
Following his statement, sources close to McCabe have said the former FBI official handed personal notes from meetings with President Trump and conversations with former Bureau Director James Comey over to special counsel Robert Mueller’s office.
The memos could be used as evidence Trump attempted to influence the federal Russian interference investigation and made a concerted effort to oust McCabe before his was eligible to receive a retirement package.
After the announcement of his firing, multiple congressional Democrats have offered the FBI career-man a job to counteract Trump’s move, including Reps. Mark Pocan (Wis.), Luis Gutierrez (Ill.), Jamie Raskin (Md.) and Seth Moulton (Mass.).
Under federal law, McCabe, 50, may now have to wait until age 57 to begin collecting retirement pay and benefits.
[Breitbart] [AP] [HuffPost] [Photo courtesy Washington Press]