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Duke alum Andrew McCabe sues FBI, Justice Department for documents related to his firing

Andrew McCabe, Trinity '90, has made national headlines in recent months as the saga continues between the former acting FBI director and the administration that fired him on the cusp of his retirement. 

The latest installment? He's suing the agency he was the short-lived acting director of and the Justice Department for documents related to his dismissal. 

His lawyers say the government has not produced requested documents related to his firing—specifically, what policies were being complied with when Attorney General Jeff Sessions abruptly fired McCabe less than two days before he planned to retire.

In a federal lawsuit announced Tuesday, McCabe's lawyers are seeking access to a number of documents the Justice Department referenced to justify his abrupt removal through the Freedom of Information Act. 

Under the Freedom of Information Act, individuals can request a variety of public records, which his lawyers allege in the lawsuit were not released because the agencies are concerned that McCabe would take action against the government.

The complaint states that McCabe was fired "following proceedings that violated federal law and departed from applicable administrative rules, standards, policies, and procedures." Under FOIA, the government must publicly provide the policies that were followed. They have not done so, McCabe's lawyers say.

"That failure is contrary to law," the lawsuit states. "It is also incongruous with Defendants’ public, and repeated, representations to the effect that Mr. McCabe was dismissed from the FBI following an 'extensive and fair investigation' which was carried out 'according to Department of Justice procedure.'"

Because he was fired before he was eligible to retire, McCabe and his family lost his pension and healthcare benefits that would have followed his decades-long public service career, the complaint says. He was fired abruptly based on findings stating he had engaged in administrative misconduct.

McCabe is specifically requesting access to the Office of the Inspector General's Inspector General Manual, the FBI's Policy Implementation Guide for Adjudication of Delegated Disciplinary Matters, the FBI's Senior Executive Service Policy Implementation guide and the Inspection Division Implementation guide.

The lawsuit requests that the court force the defendants to email the documents to McCabe's attorneys and to expedite the consideration of the action.

McCabe first generated headlines in 2017, when President Donald Trump fired off tweets questioning Attorney General Jeff Session's decision to not replace McCabe with a different Acting Director after Comey was fired. Trump specifically called out McCabe's wife's Senate campaign donations in the tweets.

When politically tinged text messages between FBI agents came to light in December 2017 that included a mention of McCabe, Trump again tweeted out an attack on his then-Acting Director of the FBI. 

In January 2018, it was reported that he was stepping down from the role but would remain on the payroll until his official retirement in March—when he would become eligible for retirement benefits. 

Two days before his planned retirement, he was fired.

Bre Bradham

Bre is a senior political science major from South Carolina, and she is the current video editor, special projects editor and recruitment chair for The Chronicle. She is also an associate photography editor and an investigations editor. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief and local and national news department head. 

Twitter: @brebradham



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