Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe struck a settlement with the Justice Department that restores his pension and other benefits after he was fired by the Trump administration in 2018, just hours before he was set to retire.
McCabe’s dismissal came after a bitter Twitter campaign waged by former President Donald Trump, attacking the former FBI official and his wife/. In an unsuccessful campaign for the Virginia state senate, Jill McCabe accepted contributions from former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a close ally of former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, Trump’s political rival in the 2016 election.
“Politics should never play a role in the fair administration of justice and civil service personnel decisions,” McCabe said in a statement issued by his lawyers. “I hope that this result encourages the men and women of the FBI to continue to protect the American people by standing up for the truth and doing their jobs without fear of political retaliation.”
As part of the settlement, Justice also agreed to pay more than $500,000 to satisfy “all attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses.”
McCabe’s initial 2019 lawsuit accused Justice Department officials of unjustly demoting and then terminating him to cater to then-President Donald Trump’s “unlawful whims.”
McCabe said he was demoted in January 2018 and fired two months later because he refused to cave in to Trump’s demands for loyalty. McCabe’s removal was part of the president’s “unconstitutional plan and scheme to discredit and remove” career law enforcement officials he deemed to be his political opponents.
McCabe was fired in the midst of a review into the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. In a statement announcing McCabe’s firing, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the deputy FBI director was removed after an “extensive and fair” probe of alleged misconduct, which concluded that he had made “an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions.
Trump then applauded the decision, calling it “a great day for democracy.”
In a statement late Thursday, the FBI acknowledged the negotiated settlement but rejected claims that the bureau acted inappropriately.
“The FBI denies any wrongdoing, and further denies it violated the Constitution or any law, regulation, or policy, with respect to the events at issue in this litigation,” the statement said, adding that the bureau “followed its internal processes objectively without improper influence or bias.”
Contributing: Kristine Phillips