Former top FBI official Andrew McCabe, who was fired late Friday night by Attorney General Jeff Sessions two days before becoming eligible for full pension benefits, said in an extraordinary statement that he was targeted because President Donald Trump wants to destroy him as part of his “war” against special counsel Robert Mueller.
“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,” McCabe said in a statement released shortly after Sessions announced his decision. “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.”
The statement was the first time McCabe had spoken candidly of his anger at the Trump White House. In it, he painted a remarkable picture of an administration that tried to politicize its principal law enforcement arm, the FBI, and discredit several of the bureau’s longtime leaders, all in an effort to escape scrutiny of Trump by the special counsel.
McCabe noted in his statement that he had knowledge that could be useful to Mueller’s investigation into events involving the president.
“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 (FBI director) James Comey,” McCabe said.
Trump’s dismissal of Comey and events surrounding it are reported to be a key aspect of Mueller’s investigation into the president.
McCabe added that a report by the Department of Justice Inspector General’s office, which looked into his role in the handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton’s email server, was stepped up “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 (Inspector General’s office) 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,” he continued. “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.”
The last line was a reference to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders telling reporters that McCabe was a “bad actor.”
McCabe has in the past been targeted for repeated attacks by Trump and early Saturday morning, the president tweeted that…