Apparently, Andrew McCabe is going to keep on keepin’ on with filing lawsuits, hoping that eventually, one will stick. Thursday, McCabe filed another lawsuit, asking to be reinstated in his job with the FBI, or at least to get his retirement benefits back.
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) August 8, 2019
In this latest lawsuit, filed against the FBI and Justice Department, McCabe claims (once again) that he was wrongfully terminated from employment with the federal government. That firing was unfair and politically-motivated, because President Donald Trump was angry that McCabe refused to pledge his loyalty, and McCabe’s wife was running for office as a Democrat.
According to McCabe’s complaint, the firing wasn’t an isolated event, but rather, part of a coordinated effort:
It was Trump’s unconstitutional plan and scheme to discredit and remove DOJ and FBI employees who were deemed to be his partisan opponents because they were not politically loyal to him. Plaintiff’s termination was a critical element of Trump’s plan and scheme.
Those claims look pretty darn similar to the allegations raised by Peter Strzok on Tuesday in a lawsuit asking for his job back.
The narrative is one McCabe has been peddling for a while now. He’s been victimized, and it’s all just more unfairness at the hands of a vindictive president. Trump himself, of course, did much to reinforce McCabe’s characterization, sending a classically mean and childish tweet about the firing.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2018
McCabe’s lawsuit isn’t totally bereft of compelling evidence. He includes as an exhibit this handwritten memo that shows top officials knew the date on which McCabe planned to leave his FBI post. That definitely doesn’t look good for Trump’s decision to fire McCabe the day before and gyp him out of his retirement benefits.
Still, the new lawsuit has the same fatal flaws that the old one had: two official reports that find McCabe responsible for serious wrongdoing. For a person claiming wrongful termination and denial of due process, those reports are impossible hurdles to clear.
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) concluded that McCabe had acted improperly by making an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and that McCabe had acted dishonestly. The FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility reviewed the OIC report and issued its own disciplinary proposal recommending the dismissal of Mr. McCabe. With those two official documents floating around, it’s kind of hard to make a compelling case that Trump fired McCabe just because McCabe’s wife was running a losing campaign for state senate.
The OIG is an independent law-enforcement agency, which happens to be led by an Obama-appointee with a stellar record. Inspector General Michael Horowitz has a history of acting in good faith and is generally respected and known to conduct unbiased professional work. In other words, it’s going to be hard to discount what the OIG said about McCabe – and filing lawsuit after lawsuit isn’t going to help.
Anyone paying attention to President Trump’s many retaliatory firings knows that the president has a penchant for bully tactics. But McCabe’s quest to become the poster-boy for Trump victimization is almost certain to fail. The award for “Most Wrongfully-Terminated Federal Employee” has already gone to James Comey. McCabe should satisfy himself with the honor of the nomination and stop wasting legal fees on more lawsuits.
[Image via the FBI]
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.