Andrew McCabe, former Deputy FBI Director was fired late Friday, the last work day before his retirement would have vested. After he was fired, Politico released an interview in which the embattled Deputy explained that Pres. Trump had been after him, tweeting about him since late December, 2017. It was in December when it became public knowledge that Mr. McCabe could corroborate James Comey’s concerns about Pres. Trump.
Mr. McCabe is referring to something often seen in sexual harassment cases. If the alleged victim discusses the unwanted harassment with a co-worker or friend, that helps corroborate her complaints. Harassment generally happens behind closed doors. There are usually no direct witnesses. But, if the victim discusses her experiences at or about the time of the harassment, that testimony from a friend or co-worker is probably admissible. That appears to be the value Mr. McCabe provides for Mr. Comey. And, that corroboration apparently attracted the attention of the President.
The lawyer for Mr. McCabe, Michael Bromwich, is a former IG for the Department of Justice. He indicates in the Politico news report that rarely have IG investigations progressed so quickly. The investigation started in late December, and now, three months later, the Deputy Director has been fired. As we know from discrimination cases, any major deviation from normal procedure will support an inference of illicit motive.
Mr. Mccabe explained that he was effectively removed from his post in January. He apparently means he was asked to leave his position as Deputy Director and serve in a different capacity, He was not willing to do that. So, on short notice, he was told he had to leave his post and use his terminal leave. That means since January, he has been at home on leave.
And, as these events were unfolding, Pres. Trump was tweeting about McCabe’s “race” to obtain his benefits before he might be fired. And once Mr. McCabe was fired, the President again tweeted his pleasure that he had been fired. He expressed no regret for McCabe’s loss of his pension. Those sorts of tweets do help show that the President was involved somehow in the alleged discipline of the Deputy Director. Evidence takes many forms. These tweets by themselves do not mean much. But, in conjunction with other types of evidence, these tweets provide the crucial look to the President’s intent. Obstruction of justice is a crime of intent.
If this were a discrimination case, I would be thrilled to have a supervisor tweeting about his hopes and desires in regard to my client. And, then at the end, the supervisor claps and celebrates the firing. Any decent lawyer could make wonderful use of those sorts of comments. The President may well come to regret this tweeting before this is all done. Deputy Director McCabe was employed by the FBI for 21 years. The DOJ just now discovered he was not a good employee? If this were a discrimination lawsuit, I would love to have this sort of evidence.
See Politico report.