Andrew McCabe Could be Fired Just Days Before He is to Retire

Andrew G. McCabe during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in May.
Al Drago/The New York Times

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reviewing a recommendation to fire the former F.B.I. deputy director, Andrew G. McCabe, just days before he is scheduled to retire on Sunday, people briefed on the matter said. Mr. McCabe was a frequent target of attack from President Trump, who taunted him both publicly and privately.

Mr. McCabe is ensnared in an internal review that includes an examination of his decision in 2016 to allow F.B.I. officials to speak with reporters about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. The Justice Department’s inspector general concluded that Mr. McCabe was not forthcoming during the review, according to the people briefed on the matter. That yet-to-be-released report triggered an F.B.I. disciplinary process that recommended his termination — leaving Mr. Sessions to either accept or reverse that decision.

Lack of candor is a fireable offense, but like so much at the F.B.I., Mr. McCabe’s fate is also entangled in presidential politics and the special counsel investigation. He was involved from the beginning in the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. He is also a potential witness in the inquiry into whether Mr. Trump tried to obstruct justice.

Mr. Trump’s supporters have tried to cast Mr. McCabe as part of a “deep state” that operates in secret to undermine the administration. Mr. Trump has goaded Mr. Sessions into taking action against him.

Now, Mr. Sessions is the final arbiter of Mr. McCabe’s dismissal, shortly before his retirement takes effect Sunday. Though no decision has been made, people inside the Justice Department expect him to be fired before Friday, a decision that would jeopardize his pension as a 21-year F.B.I. veteran.

Pensions are set through a formula based on past salaries and years of service. The value of Mr. McCabe’s pension, and how much might be in jeopardy, was not immediately clear.

Under F.B.I. rules, internal reports are referred to the bureau’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which makes disciplinary recommendations. Mr. McCabe can appeal that recommendation to the attorney general. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to say whether Mr. McCabe would be fired.

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SOURCE: NY Times, Katie Benner, Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman