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Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe sues FBI over his firing

Andrew McCabe suing FBI over his firing
Andrew McCabe suing FBI over his firing 00:37

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has sued the FBI and Justice Department over his 2018 firing, claiming his right to due process was violated and ultimately blaming President Trump. McCabe filed the suit Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The lawsuit, the second this week from an ex-FBI official challenging the circumstances of his termination, says the firing was part of Mr. Trump's plan to rid the bureau of leaders he perceived as disloyal to him. The complaint contends that the two officials responsible for demoting and then firing McCabe — FBI Director Chris Wray and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions — created a pretext to force him out in accordance with the president's wishes. The suit also alleges this treatment came at the direction of Mr. Trump.

The lawsuit comes two days after former FBI special agent Peter Strzok also sued the FBI and Justice Department over his firing, making an argument on similar Fifth Amendment and First Amendment grounds.

"Trump demanded Plaintiff's personal allegiance, he sought retaliation when Plaintiff refused to give it, and Sessions, Wray, and others served as Trump's personal enforcers rather than the nation's highest law enforcement officials, catering to Trump's unlawful whims instead of honoring their oaths to uphold the Constitution," the McCabe lawsuit says.

The federal complaint also contends that the FBI and Justice Department strayed from established policies. It says that Wray refused to tell McCabe why he was being fired and a senior Justice Department lawyer even told McCabe's lawyer that agency practices weren't being followed in McCabe's disciplinary proceedings. The department's lawyer said in a telephone conversation with McCabe's attorney that Justice Department personnel were "making it up as we go along."

McCabe was fired in March 2018 after a Justice Department inspector general report found he had repeatedly misstated his involvement in a news media disclosure regarding an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation. The watchdog office referred the matter to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, which has been investigating.

Spokespeople for the FBI and Justice Department declined to comment on the lawsuit.

McCabe has denied any wrongdoing and said that when he felt his answers were being misunderstood, he tried to correct them.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly bashed McCabe, on Twitter and in past remarks, suggesting that he should have gone to prison.

"The real Collusion, the Conspiracy, the Crime, was between the Clinton Campaign, the DNC, Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele.....(and many others including Comey, McCabe, Lisa Page and her lover, Ohr and his wonderful wife, and on and on!)" the president tweeted in July, swiping at the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

After special counsel Robert Mueller's congressional testimony last month, McCabe said he hopes Russia hears the warning not to meddle "loud and clear."

Last year, CBS News interviewed McCabe about his time working at the FBI during the Trump presidency. Before he was fired from the FBI, Andrew McCabe was summoned to the Oval Office to interview for the position of FBI director. "It was a bit of a bizarre experience," says McCabe, recalling his meeting with Mr. Trump before that relationship soured.

"He began by talking to me about his Electoral College results in the state of North Carolina, which I didn't really know about or understand how that related to the position of FBI director," McCabe said at the time.

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