Andrew McCabe’s attorney has filed a lawsuit against the DOJ, demanding to know the exact procedural basis for his firing. From Politico:
In the suit, filed on Tuesday evening in U.S. District Court in Washington, McCabe’s attorney David Snyder demands copies of manuals and policies used by the Justice Department Office of Inspector General and the FBI in conducting investigations and carrying out employee discipline…
The lawsuit claims that McCabe’s firing “violated federal law and departed from applicable administrative rules, standards, policies, and procedures.” However, the new suit does not directly challenge McCabe’s dismissal, but rather claims that the Justice Department is violating the law by refusing to identify and share the internal policies that led to his termination one day short of the 20 years’ service he would need to be eligible for an immediate pension.
I’m not an attorney so I won’t offer anything like a legal opinion, but it sounds as if this is an effort to claim that while the DOJ may have had good grounds to fire McCabe, it’s procedures for doing so when it did might be open to question.
Note that this is a change from the initial response from McCabe and his attorney. Back in March, he issued a combative statement claiming his firing only made sense as an effort to destroy his sterling credibility: “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. 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.” McCabe also launched a GoFundMe page which quickly raked in half-a-million worth in resistance funds.
Then the IG released his report on McCabe which found he had lied under oath to other FBI agents who questioned him about leaks to the Wall Street Journal. One of the people he reportedly lied to was his own boss, James Comey, who you might have noticed is not exactly on Team Trump. Suddenly, McCabe’s firing didn’t seem like part of a Trumpian conspiracy. He even shut down his GoFundMe page.
Even Comey, who supported him initially, has been questioned by prosecutors about what McCabe told him about those leaks. We don’t know what Comey told prosecutors, but what he has said previously in public is that McCabe told him he had no idea who had authorized the leaks in question. That was a lie.
All of this to say, neither McCabe nor his attorney were ever going to make the case that he didn’t deserve to be fired. But maybe they can argue he didn’t have to be fired a day before he qualified for his early retirement.