The turmoil at the FBI continued Tuesday with the news that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s legal team is suing the Justice Department and the FBI for allegedly refusing to hand over records surrounding McCabe’s dismissal last March, two days before his scheduled retirement. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., does not directly dispute McCabe’s sacking, instead that DOJ is breaking the law by not disclosing the justification and supporting evidence for McCabe’s dismissal, a violation of the Freedom of Information Act, which could be used as part of a broader legal effort against the Justice Department for wrongful termination and due process violations. “Defendants have deprived Plaintiff of the opportunity he should have had to protect and to advance the legal rights and interests of Mr. McCabe,” a lawyer for McCabe wrote in the suit.
“Defendants have publicly claimed, again and again, that they complied with all applicable law, policies, and procedures when they investigated, adjudicated, and dismissed Mr. McCabe from the FBI,” the suit says. “Plaintiff has repeatedly requested that Defendants disclose those policies and procedures. Those requests have been denied by some of the same high-ranking officials who were involved in, or were responsible for, the investigation, adjudication, and/or dismissal of Mr. McCabe.”
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe in March, citing findings from the inspector general that ‘McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor—including under oath—on multiple occasions,’” Politico notes. “The suit comes two days before the inspector general’s office is set to release a highly anticipated report on alleged politicization of the FBI and Justice Department during the 2016 presidential election.”