Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI, first drew President Trump's ire back in December 2017. There was nothing he had done at the time to deserve this other than being married to a Democratic candidate for the Virginia State Senate in 2015 who received campaign donations from people who also donated to the Clinton campaign. The President seemed to believe that because she received campaign donations from Clinton donors, her husband couldn't be unbiased in the Clinton email investigation.
How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2017
Then Trump tweeted this, which many people saw as a threat:
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2017
At the time, this was seen as part of a broader effort to discredit the FBI, and in turn the Mueller investigation. McCabe would be a valuable witness in the obstruction case against the President because of his closeness with former FBI director James Comey, who he had served under. When these attacks began, McCabe stepped down as deputy FBI director and went on paid leave until a newly set retirement date of March 18, 2018 — also his 50th birthday — at which point he would be eligible to start receiving the pension he had earned after 21 years of government service.
On Friday, March 16, two days before his retirement date, Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired Andrew McCabe, making him ineligible to receive his pension. The administration said an internal review showed McCabe misstepped when he gave information about the FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation to the media.
McCabe denies this, giving his own statement after his firing, which reads in part:
I have been an FBI Special Agent for over 21 years. I spent half of that time investigating Russian Organized Crime as a street agent and Supervisor in New York City. I have spent the second half of my career focusing on national security issues and protecting this country from terrorism. I served in some of the most challenging, demanding investigative and leadership roles in the FBI. And I was privileged to serve as Deputy Director during a particularly tough time.
For the last year and a half, my family and I have been the targets of an unrelenting assault on our reputation and my service to this country. Articles too numerous to count have leveled every sort of false, defamatory and degrading allegation against us. The President's tweets have amplified and exacerbated it all. He called for my firing. He called for me to be stripped of my pension after more than 20 years of service. And all along we have said nothing, never wanting to distract from the mission of the FBI by addressing the lies told and repeated about us.
He went on to say:
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. The OIG's focus on me and this report became a part of an unprecedented effort by the Administration, driven by the President himself, to remove me from my position, destroy my reputation, and possibly strip me of a pension that I worked 21 years to earn. The accelerated release of the report, and the punitive actions taken in response, make sense only when viewed through this lens. Thursday's comments from the White House are just the latest example of this.
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.
You can read the full statement here.
Many see McCabe's firing as vindictive. But some Democratic lawmakers have come up with an ingenious way to fight back.
Democrats are offering McCabe jobs so he can reach the days of service needed to collect his pension:
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
People expressed their gratitude:
thank you for standing up for a career man, and up against the waste sitting in 1600Penna Ave— thomas m tordel jr (@tordel_jr) March 18, 2018
Thank you for your compassion Congressman! My faith in humanity has been restored.— Kevin Tran (@icehawk1) March 18, 2018
And many had harsh words for the President:
Trump is using the same purging techniques his buddy Putin uses.— Orhan Nalcioglu (@ONalcioglu) March 18, 2018
Trump is so evil, he would probably take the health care coverage away from a sick infant nephew. Oh wait! He did!— Cornelia (@PaladinCornelia) March 18, 2018
You know why Obama didn't keep tweeting about the kenyan birth certificate you kept insisting existed?— Deon (@imnottayediggs) March 18, 2018
Unlike you, he had nothing to worry about.
This is disgraceful and your motive is transparent. Why to you keep adding to the pile of evidence of obstruction?— Jen Fitzgerald (@Jenfitzlaw) March 18, 2018