Former FBI Director Andrew McCabe is pleading with the nation’s young people not to be discouraged from going into careers in public service despite the “divisive politics and partisan attacks” that characterize the country’s national discourse. McCabe made his case in an op-ed in The Washington Post yesterday.
Andrew McCabe was fired last week, two days before he was set to retire and two days he was set to receive his pension, after twenty-one years with the Bureau. Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired him after it was determined that he showed a lack of candor when speaking with FBI investigators about the authorization of FBI employees to speak with members of the press about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation, the philanthropic organization created by former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.
An October 2016 Wall Street Journal article alleged a dispute between the FBI and the Justice Department over how to proceed in that investigation. The article said the DOJ was resisting issuing subpoenas and that McCabe was personally slow walking the investigation. The Journal quoted agents who disputed that notion, saying McCabe pushed hard for the investigation to continue. Those employees, a FBI public affairs officer and a bureau lawyer were authorized to speak to the Journal by McCabe.
An internal investigation found McCabe acted inappropriately in authorizing those officials to speak to the Journal and that he showed a lack of candor when speaking with internal investigators about it. Lack of candor is fireable offense at the FBI.
McCabe vehemently denies any wrongdoing. “I have been accused of ‘lack of candor.’ That is not true,” he wrote. “I did not knowingly mislead or lie to investigators…I answered questions as completely and accurately as I could. And when I realized that some of my answers were not fully accurate or may have been misunderstood, I took the initiative to correct them.”
“At worst, I was not clear in my responses, and because of what was going on around me may well have been confused and distracted — and for that I take full responsibility. But that is not a lack of candor. And under no circumstances could it ever serve as the basis for the very public and extended humiliation of my family and me that the administration, and the president personally, have engaged in over the past year,” he wrote.
McCabe has faced criticism from President Trump as well as Congressional Republicans, for the actions surrounding the Hillary Clinton email investigation as well as the Trump-Russia investigation. That criticism intensified last year after it was revealed that his wife received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from a PAC led by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe during a state Senate campaign a couple of years ago. McAuliffe is a close ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s.
When McCabe was fired the President tweeted, “Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!”
McCabe contends his termination was political and stems from his willingness to corroborate much of former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before Congress last year, about President’s Trump interference in the FBI’s Russia investigation before Comey was fired.
“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,” McCabe wrote in a statement after his firing.
In his op-ed yesterday, McCabe asked individuals considering careers at the FBI to look past the headlines. “To those men and women [considering a field in public service], I say: Fear not. Set the headlines aside and give in to what draws you to this work. The country needs you.”
Careers in law enforcement “offer the rare opportunity to enter into a sacred trust with the American people: to protect and defend them, honestly, justly and fairly. There is no greater responsibility, but there is no greater reward,” he wrote.
“There is nothing like having the opportunity to be a part of the greatest law-enforcement organization in the world, working every day for goals that you respect and cherish. It is the best job you will ever have. Even if a president decides to attack you and your family. Even if you get fired on a Friday night, one day from your retirement,” he added.