On Friday, March 16, Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. Sessions cited the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility's recommendation that McCabe be terminated due to a "lack of candor" while testifying about leaks to the press during an investigation by the FBI into the Clinton Foundation.
The firing came two days before McCabe was set to formally retire, and could drastically affect his pension, which was estimated to be around $60,000 a year.
President Trump rejoiced at the news of his Deputy FBI Director's firing! He tweeted:
Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI - A great day for Democracy. Sanctim… https://t.co/Cz8RmnXjLC— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1521259682.0
Trump's denouncement of McCabe was not greeted warmly by many prominent members of the intelligence community.
Most notably, John Brennan, former Director of the CIA, tweeted back at the President with an incredibly harsh indictment of character:
When the full extent of your, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America...America will triumph over you.
When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your… https://t.co/xbl1pcESbL— John O. Brennan (@John O. Brennan) 1521288048.0
Brennan used to be director of the CIA. These guys are done playing. https://t.co/xMgdqq3vZd— shauna (@shauna) 1521316095.0
Wow. John Brennan does not usually speak this way. And remember: he has seen the most sensitive classified informat… https://t.co/6iuu8add6E— Michael McFaul (@Michael McFaul) 1521306130.0
McCabe himself also released a statement in response to his firing, in which he claims he was terminated due to his role in the events that followed James Comey's dismissal. Here's the conclusion of his statement:
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. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel's work.
I have always prided myself on serving my country with distinction and integrity, and I always encouraged those around me to do the same. Just ask them. To have my career end in this way, and to be accused of lacking candor when at worst I was distracted in the midst of chaotic events, is incredibly disappointing and unfair. But it will not erase the important work I was privileged to be a part of, the results of which will in the end be revealed for the country to see.
I have unfailing faith in the men and women of the FBI and I am confident that their efforts to seek justice will not be deterred.
@JohnBrennan Bravo, sir, for speaking out.— Katie DeBonville (@Katie DeBonville) 1521310152.0
Even Comey himself, who is usually somewhat reserved in his approach to politics, spoke out against the President.
Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon. And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not.— James Comey (@James Comey) 1521308604.0
Though Trump often painted McCabe as a political partisan who shut down investigations into his political rival, Hillary Clinton, the forthcoming internal review which got McCabe fired is said to detail times the Deputy Director leaked information to the press that would be harmful to the Clinton campaign.
With each new development, the situation becomes more and more complex, but the conclusions each political party draws seem pre-determined: Democrats believe McCabe's dismissal is a petty act of political revenge and an attempt to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into President Trump's possible obstructions of justice. Republicans believe his firing is well overdue, and that McCabe is a symbol of the corruption and political double-dealing which plagues Washington D.C. The truth? That most of the relevant details are not yet available to the public.
In the meantime, Democrats in Congress are offering him work in order so that he may qualify for his pension after all.
To Andrew McCabe: If you need a federal job, call me on Monday. I am serious. We have to stand up to bullies like @realDonaldTrump & @jeffsessions@USAGSessions#Resist#twill#AndrewMcCabeFired#standuptobullies#chicago@Comey— Luis V. Gutierrez (@RepGutierrez) March 17, 2018
Andrew call me. I could use a good two-day report on the biggest crime families in Washington, D.C. https://t.co/DYVP00Em0x— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) March 17, 2018
Andrew McCabe: I have the need to hire a Special Senior Staff Attorney to help me with my work on the House Judiciary Committee dealing with threats to the Constitution and the rule of law in America. You're perfect for the job. DM me.— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) March 17, 2018