Politics

Andrew McCabe Deserves to Be Fired, Ex-Prosecutor Says

The former deputy director, as well as the already dismissed James Comey, 'destroyed a great American institution,' Joseph diGenova says

A recommendation to fire former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe days before his retirement is justified despite its appearing “vindictive,” former federal prosecutor Joseph diGenova said Thursday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

DiGenova, who served as U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia under President Ronald Reagan, noted that the review by the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) did not produce any new facts about McCabe’s handling of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server and email address to conduct official business.

McCabe has been faulted for a lack of candor in an internal investigation into his decision to allow FBI officials to talk to reporters about the matter.

“The timing is bizarre, because all of the information that’s known about him has been known for some time,” diGenova said.

DiGenova joked that the timing might have something to do with Thursday’s date — the Ides of March, when Julius Caesar’s one-time friend and ally Brutus — and dozens of other senators — stabbed him 23 times on the floor of the Roman Senate.

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“Now, that was a rough committee meeting,” he quipped.

But diGenova said McCabe deserves to be fired, even if it means he would lose his pension.

“I think that McCabe is getting his comeuppance,” he said. “I find it hard to believe that [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions is going to fire him before his pension vests. It looks rather vindictive, but may I say that vindictiveness at this point in the story is completely appropriate.”

DiGenova said that other than fired FBI Director James Comey, no one deserves punishment more than McCabe, who served as acting director for a time after his predecessor’s departure.

“He has completely politicized, along with Comey, the FBI,” he sad. “They have destroyed a great American institution.”

DiGenova also did not spare current officials in the Department of Justice, including current FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He faulted Wray for weak leadership and not taking responsibility for his agency’s failure to follow up on warnings that accused Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz was about to act out violently.

“Christopher Wray is an embarrassment to this administration, and if [President] Trump gets around to firing people, Wray ought to be number one.”

“The place is a mess,” he said. “And the current FBI director, Chris Wray, is on a milk carton somewhere. You can’t even find him … Christopher Wray is an embarrassment to this administration, and if [President] Trump gets around to firing people, Wray ought to be number one.”

DiGenova blasted Rosenstein, meanwhile, as a “political coward” who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to lead the Russia investigation rather than take the political heat. He added that Rosenstein apparently has failed to rein in Mueller and his team, allowing them to drift far beyond their original mandate concerning Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“He has betrayed the president of the United States, and I hope Trump puts him on the 4th Circuit [Court of Appeals] just to get rid of him … Give him a damn judgeship,” he said.

Notwithstanding the decision even to appoint a special counsel in the absence of a known crime, diGenova said, Mueller was a poor choice to take on the role. He said although the former FBI director is a “great guy,” he has conflicts of interest because of his relationship with key figures, including both Comey and Rosenstein.

Related: Attorney General Jeff Sessions Is Trapped on the Horns of a Friday Dilemma

DiGenova suggested more attention should be given to officials in the administration of former President Barack Obama. He noted those officials relied on questionable opposition research financed by 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to obtain surveillance warrants targeting Trump associates.

Those officials repeatedly vouched for the reliability of Christopher Steele, a former British spy who produced the dossier of salacious but unverified allegations against Trump. DiGenova said the British government should put Steele in charge of investigating the mysterious poisoning of a Russian double agent in England last week.

“Why don’t they get him to investigate the Russian poisoning,” diGenova said sarcastically. “I bet he could solve this in a New York minute.”

PoliZette senior writer Brendan Kirby can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

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