This is the story I was watching off and on this week. As it drew closer and closer to Friday with no indication one way or the other what Attorney General Sessions would decide, I assumed that no news meant McCabe likely would retire and get his pension. There would likely be some grumbling by Republicans, but other than that it would fade out of the news cycle relatively quickly.
I’m happy to say I was wrong.
I understand the optics here are not great because of the past years tensions between AG Sessions and President Trump. That ultimately should have held no bearing on the decision and based on the decision made – it didn’t. Of course the President will be satisfied with the decision, but that wasn’t the point. The right thing to do in this situation was to follow the facts and evidence provided by Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz along with considering the recommendation of Office of Professional Responsibility. Whatever side of the aisle you claim your allegiance to, this was the right thing for AG Sessions to do.
The key thing to remember is that the IG, Michael E. Horowitz, is an Obama Era Administration official. Additionally the recommendation to fire McCabe came from the OPR – not the OIG. The head of the OIG is another Obama Era appointee Robin Ashton. These are not appointees by President Trump that the Democrats can claim are proving their loyalty in order to dismiss the recommendations. It also makes it difficult to float the idea that this is part of a proposed war against the FBI, law enforcement and intelligence professionals as McCabe would lead you to believe in his statement.
Unfortunately the OIG report has not been made public yet, so it is impossible to know for certain what evidence they have to support the firing. But there was obviously enough evidence in both reports to support McCabes dismissal. The statement by AG Sessions indicated the reason for firing McCabe was for making “unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor – including under oath – on multiple occasions.“. The OPR appears to concur with this assessment in their disciplinary proposal by saying “all FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal and that our integrity is our brand.”
The fact that the recommendation from the OPR after reading the OIG report was to fire McCabe, one can assume there is a strong case for serious wrongdoing – if not serious legal repercussions.
Democrats are quick to point out the alleged success to date of the Muller investigation by touting the guilty pleas of lying to the FBI by George Papadopolous and Michael Flynn, so I would struggle to understand how they could disagree with holding Andrew McCabe to the same standards. I would also like to hear them explain why they would not trust the OIG or OPR in their assessment of disciplinary actions given who gave their appointments.