Fired FBI Official Now Discovering The 'Civilian' Delight Of Being Jerked Around By Govt' Agencies

from the welcome-to-the-private-sector,-Andy dept

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s career came to a sudden end earlier this year. Following in his predecessor James Comey’s footsteps, McCabe swiftly found himself on the front sidewalk with a Sessions footprint on his ass. An Inspector General’s report followed soon after, detailing many reasons McCabe might have been fired — lying to investigators, leaking stuff to the press, evading concerns about his investigative neutrality in light of his wife’s acceptance of donations from a Clinton-linked PAC… We don’t know if any of these are why Trump fired McCabe, but pretty much any one of these things makes a firing justifiable.

Lying to the FBI is serious business, even when it’s just its oversight. Ask anyone who’s been charged with nothing but lying when the FBI fails to build a better case. For McCabe, though, it was just a little “administrative misconduct.” Something that could be addressed with a writeup or, in this case, a firing. That the trigger was pulled hours away from McCabe’s retirement sucks for McCabe, but I find it very difficult to sympathize with career government employees who feel they’re still owed a lifetime of retirement benefits after they’ve been fired for cause.

McCabe is still trying to get what he thinks taxpayers owe him. He claims the firing was “politically motivated.” Given the general nature of Trump’s personnel decisions, he’s probably not wrong. But the IG report shows him engaged in behavior that could result in termination. McCabe doesn’t believe that’s the case and he’s demanding the DOJ hand over documents and manuals related to internal policies and firing practices. And he’s doing this like an actual civilian: by filing FOIA requests.

Unsurprisingly, that’s not working. McCabe’s lawyers are asking the DC court to force the DOJ to hand over all policies and manuals. As is argued in this quasi-FOIA lawsuit [PDF], the DOJ has been shirking its obligations to the public for decades.

Defendants have been required for over 50 years to proactively disclose the kinds of documents at issue here, and there is no just reason for either their failure to do so now or for any further delay. Defendants’ breach of their disclosure obligations have prejudiced Mr. McCabe and Plaintiff in fundamental ways, all of which flow from one of FOIA’s core concerns: No citizen should “los[e] a controversy with an agency because of some obscure and hidden [administrative material] which the agency knows about but which has been unavailable to the citizen simply because he had no way in which to discover it.”

His FOIA request was only a few days old at the time of the filing, so this lawsuit isn’t really about non-responsiveness. It’s about the DOJ deliberately playing keep-away with documents McCabe needs to determine whether or not his firing was done in accordance with DOJ policy.

This cannot possibly come as a surprise to McCabe. A career fed would know federal agencies don’t turn over documents without a fight, even when their legal obligations are clear. The FBI is barely responsive to its own oversight, so there’s no reason to believe the DOJ is going to proactively post documents for public consumption. And when it’s facing a potential lawsuit over a firing, it’s definitely going to amp up the stonewalling and denials. McCabe probably wouldn’t have minded Joe Citizen being dicked around this way, but it irritates him when he’s on the receiving end of treatment like this:

FOIA mandates that Defendants proactively disclose the applicable policies and procedures in an electronic format without waiting for an affirmative request. Defendants have failed to do so. When Plaintiff requested the pertinent documents, Defendants variously refused to comply and failed to properly, timely, or sufficiently respond. They even barred Plaintiff from accessing Defendants’ physical library, which contains some (or perhaps all) of the documents at issue here.

When you’re forced out of government service, you suddenly become keenly aware of the injustices — large and small — perpetrated daily by federal agencies. For someone who used to be near the top of the fed food chain, this pettiness and opacity must be almost unbearable. When you’re on the inside, it just looks like a measured response to stupid members of the public who won’t mind their own business. But once you’re on the outside looking in, you realize how much effort you must make just to force government agencies to comply with federal law and their own internal policies.

Filed Under: , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Fired FBI Official Now Discovering The 'Civilian' Delight Of Being Jerked Around By Govt' Agencies”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: crazy talk

Nice selective quoting there. The fireable offense was:

evading concerns about his investigative neutrality in light of his wife’s acceptance of donations from a Clinton-linked PAC

Having his wife run for office is not fire-able, you’re quite right. However, McCabe should have immediately recused himself from any matters relating to the Clintons, and especially Hillary’s election campaign. He didn’t, creating, if not a conflict of interest, then at least the appearance of one.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: crazy talk

McCabe could plead that he knew absolutely nothing about his wife’s political and financial connection to Clinton, and without some kind of smoking gun, it would be hard to prove that he was anything more than the know-nothing detached husband that his legal defense team will no doubt try to portray him as.

It’s always hilarious to watch top officials being questioned, as they demonstrate their sudden case of amnesia about everything in their life. Because saying “I can’t remember” is the one single lie that the law allows people to get away with, it becomes the answer to every single question under oath.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: crazy talk

You can’t prove that he knew it beyond a reasonable doubt, but that’s probably not the standard of evidence that they’ll be using to evaluate the claim that he was fired with cause. Under a lower standard, all you need to prove is "probably," and it shouldn’t be too hard to prove that he probably knew enough about his wife’s activities that he should have declared the conflict of interest and recused himself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: crazy talk

He should have recused himself from any strongly partisan investigation, of any stripe. When investigating Democrats, there would be the appearance of impropriety that he might go too soft on them because his wife is so connected to them. When investigating Republicans, there would be the appearance of impropriety that he might bend the rules in order to get a win against a political enemy. Once closely associated with a political party’s high aspirations, there’s no way to win against claims of “appearance of impropriety.”

Anonymous Coward says:

"any one of these things makes a firing justifiable"

Firing, eh? HOW ABOUT JAIL FOR REST OF LIFE? You are still, amazingly, downplaying and diverting!

But Techdirt is SLOWLY coming round to regarding Trump as less than Evil Incarnate. If hadn’t gone so far beyond Truth in first place, it wouldn’t be so obvious.

Of course, still omit admitting Techdirt ran with the utterly baseless "Trump-Russia collusion" for 8 months, in part based on McCabe’s totally partisan (for the Deep State, not mere "DNC") crimes.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: "Trump as less than Evil Incarnate"

I’d be more specific than saying Trump is evil incarnate and say he embodies many of the reasons the United States was founded as an alternative to authoritarian tyranny. Obviously we need to be reminded.

The thing is, Trump hasn’t done everything afoul. Comey wasn’t loved here on Techdirt, and has been indicted here for the FBI turning into a national security department (rather than law enforcement) and for gaslighting several individuals (many disabled) into doing something terroristy enough to get convicted by a sting operation. Also the whole going dark thing.

None of these have stopped and none of these are the reasons Comey got fired.

Trump also halted the Trans-Pacific Partnership which included horrendous corporate sovereignty clauses and more IP overreach. But that’s not the reason he halted it.

A broken clock is right twice a day, but not because it actually tells time.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Clarification on Valkyries and fat men

In Der Ring des Nibelungen, Brunhilde the Valkyrie is typically cast to a heavy-set soprano who can project to audiences in the back of a theater. Preferably she can project to audiences of entirely different theaters in entirely different counties.

The Fat Man doesn’t sing, but rather is dropped, and presents a much more terrible Götterdämmerung

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Kim Jong Il was the showman...

…reputed to (according to his official biographers) write and perform in several musicals. I don’t know if Kim Jong Un took up the same mantle.

When Kim Jong Ill voiced his resentment of his portrayal in Team America Matt Stone and Trey Parker offered to give Kim all IP rights to the film if Kim would perform Ronery for them. He refused.

Anonymous Coward says:

Loss of pension

While it’s true that he would have been eligible for more benefits if he had not been fired when he was, he didn’t lose everything. Even if he loses every appeal, fails to show the firing was inappropriate, etc., he still gets defined retirement benefits when he hits age 57 (compare that to what most private sector employees get). If he wins, or if Sessions had delayed another two days, McCabe could have gotten his $60k/year pension starting at age 50. Nice work, if you can get it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Loss of pension

Government pensions need to be abolished. No one else gets these sort of lifetime pensions (and the few companies that once offered them always find some loophole that allowed them to renege on that promise). In fact, private company pensions should also be legally abolished, because so often they’re never paid.

And whenever top government officials are forced out due to corruption or conflict of interest, at the very least their pensions need come under review. It’s a disgrace when someone narrowly slips out of a prison sentence and still gets to keep a lavish pension for life, paid for by taxpayers.

ECA (profile) says:


WHO here has ever worked for a major corp??

Contracts, and paperwork you need to SIGN??

Anything that you create, BELONGS to the corp..

HOW easy is it to cover the CORP BUTT?? Do you think they CANT?? They can insert Complaints from years of service..that you would never see..UNTIL you pulled your paper work..

And in lower jobs…THEY dont have to keep MUCH/if any paperwork and after 3 years its all removed..

WHO keeps the paperwork for an upper BOSS position??(we got rid of those jobs)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Response to: Anonymous Coward on Jun 18th, 2018 @ 12:11pm

I think I have enough magic to will 1,000,000 ZWD into your bank account without any shipping or handling.

Of course, I’m not responsible if your bank rounds your balance off to the nearest USD cent and thereby removes your ZWD balance from your account again at any time in the future.

Anon says:

You Own Your Pension!

> I find it very difficult to sympathize with career government employees who feel they’re still owed a lifetime of retirement benefits after they’ve been fired for cause.

Sorry, you’re dead wrong. The USA unlike the civilized world would seem to think that yanking someone’s pension is perfectly all right. WRONG. Each year you work, you earn a little of your pension benefit into a fund in lieu of direct pay. When the time comes, you get that back as lifetime income supported by the Net Present Value of what should have been put into that fund.

Private entities have exploited one end of that loophole by not putting enough into the fund, then using bankruptcy to escape their obligations, thus screwing their workers. (Soon to be joined by many public bodies soon reneging, following in the footsteps of Detroit.) Public bodies get their minions from the other end, they seem to think this earned income can be yanked back on pretext, in this case hours before it vested in the individual.

If a person should not be receiving the pension they are entitled to, why the hell did you keep that person employed and earning that pension for the 20 to 30 years required to earn it? You don’t haul back 20 years of paycheques, why should pension be at risk simply because the employer is the trustee?

I suppose American corporate/government greed and arrogance is self-cleansing, since most pensions are being converted to IRA’s and 401K’s… or are we suggesting a government should be able to phone your bank or broker and demand the contents of your 401K?

But.. “is it lying or forgetfulness?” I have no sympathy for someone caught by the same unforgiving filter applied to other possibly innocent people over the decades. Maybe your (ex)position will at least provide a precedent to soften the strictness of this rule for the rest of us.

The most insidious part of this is the vindictive prosecution of people leaving power for purely partisan reasons. The first step on the road to democracy failing, is when people start prosecuting the outgoing crowd simply as a revenge tactic, with chant of “lock her up!”. This will encourage successive waves to find any reason to avoid giving up power, since the stakes have become too high, until democracy disappears.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: You Own Your Pension!

"Private entities have exploited one end of that loophole by not putting enough into the fund"

Also, a company putting TOO MUCH money into their pension fund turned out to be a very bad thing, because it made the company a huge takeover target for a corporate raider who saw that overfunded pension fund as a pot of gold just waiting to be snatched. The retirement fund regulations put in place in the 1960s and 1970s did not foresee the leveraged buyout craze of the 1980s, when stable, established companies were being bought out, dismembered, and liquidated as if by pirates plundering the high seas.

FurryOne (profile) says:

Government pensions

I see a general misconception here about government pensions and service in general. McCabe has 3 years to be rehired somewhere in the Federal Civil Service System to serve out his remaining 2 or so days and receive his retirement in spite of Trump & Sessions – and he’s already been offered employment by numerous Congressmen for that very purpose, and there’s nothing Trump or Sessions can do about it. So he’s got 3 years to win or lose his case, and if he loses, he still wins in the end, but by that time he’ll have faded into yesterday’s news cycle.

!ROGS! (user link) says:

re: Americas Political Police

All the tap dancing around Americas Political Police, which currently operates as the definition of what secret police.

NSA backdoor searches,parallel constructed reality in court rooms and evidence hearings, and the targeted harassment of activists all across America.

McCabe and Comey are just the tip of a frozen whale pecker,piking into the sunlight.

!ROGS! (user link) says:

i dunno, this seems important

Considering that Comey couldnt suck the ADLs dick hard enough or long enough….yes, it seems we should revisit political policing, as with McCabe.
Sure, no sectarian, corrupt , fundamentally racist policing here…move along now, kids…..

From Wikipedia,describing the toxic waste that have affected policing:

Tracking extremists (and critics of police corruption)

The ADL keeps track of the activities of various extremist groups and movements.[19] According to ADL Director Abe Foxman, “Our mission is to monitor and expose those who are anti-Jewish, racist, anti-democratic, and violence-prone, and we monitor them primarily by reading publications and attending public meetings …. Because extremist organizations are highly secretive, sometimes ADL can learn of their activities only by using undercover sources … [who] function in a manner directly analogous to investigative journalists. Some have performed great service to the American people—for example, by uncovering the existence of right-wing extremist paramilitary training camps—with no recognition and at considerable personal risk.”[20] A person apprehended in connection to the 2002 white supremacist terror plot had drawn a cartoon of himself blowing up the Boston offices of the ADL.[21]

The ADL regularly releases reports on anti-Semitism and extremist activities on both the far left and the far right. For instance, as part of its Law Enforcement Agency Resource Network (L.E.A.R.N.), the ADL has published information about the Militia Movement[22] in America and a guide for law enforcement officials titled Officer Safety and Extremists.[23] An archive of “The Militia Watchdog” research on U.S. right-wing extremism (including groups not specifically cited as anti-Semitic) from 1995 to 2000 is also available on the ADL website.[22]

In the 1990s, some details of the ADL’s monitoring activities became public and controversial, including the fact that the ADL had gathered information about some non-extremist groups. In 2013, J.M. Berger, a former nonresident fellow of the Brookings Institution, wrote that media organizations should be more cautious when citing the Southern Poverty Law Center and ADL, arguing that they are “not objective purveyors of data”.[24]

In July 2017, the ADL announced that they would be developing profiles on 36 alt-right and alt-lite leaders.[25][26]

"rog_s" says:

the thirteens, man....

Google: the number thirteen and organized gang stalking.

I mean, why not announce an indictment at 6 or 9?



13 senators take a stand for Americas babynapping industry as faux-lefties and self righteoys Republucan whackoes suddenly care about children:

Wikileaks Vault 7 alleged leaker indicted on 13 charges:

But try not to see any patterns in the data….

Interestingly, the number 13 represents chaos in many numerologies….and in the 1960s CIA MHCHAOS program that targeted activists and influncers in America.

Coincidence *cough cough*…sure it is.

#McCabeToo says:


Andrew McCabe, sexual harasser, and deviant~ from the same FBI that distributed/s child pornography across the globe:

Supervisory Special Agent, Robyn Gritz, one of the bureau’s top intelligence analysts and terrorism experts, filed a sexual discrimination complaint against the bureau. Gritz came forward with allegations of harassment by McCabe, who she said created a “cancer-like” bureaucracy striking fear in female agents, causing others to resign, and “poisoning the 7th floor,” where management is housed in the FBI’s Hoover Building….

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...