Predictably Congressman Goodlatte fully supports the Department of Justice’s vindictive firing (with President Trump’s encouragement) of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, just hours before was scheduled to retire.
I applaud Attorney General Jeff Sessions for taking action and firing former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe prior to his scheduled retirement.
Mr. McCabe’s actions have tarnished the reputation of the FBI, America’s premier law enforcement agency. In his capacity as Deputy Director, Mr. McCabe reportedly leaked internal information to the media and subsequently misled investigators about his actions. This is simply unacceptable and warrants dismissal.
For someone who is so painstaking (to the point of obstruction) when it comes to chairing the House Judiciary Committee, it is remarkable how quickly Goodlatte expressed his approval of McCabe’s firing without actually seeing any details of the charges against him.
As former FBI agent Josh Campbell writes in The Washington Post:
With all eyes on the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General and its forthcoming report on the conduct of FBI officials during the 2016 investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, Justice leadership chose to act on a subset of the IG’s findings and fire McCabe without providing underlying details.
The attorney general appears to have done a disservice to the American people by announcing the conclusion of a high-profile investigation without providing the public with a full accounting of the facts. In today’s polarized climate, the absence of truth makes it easy for members of the public to retreat to their political corners, form narratives and draw conclusions that can be nearly impossible to alter, once baked in.
As any FBI special agent will tell you, investigations are complicated. It is possible to hold two seemingly competing but accurate thoughts in one’s head at the same time, namely, that McCabe could have been not fully candid with investigators and that Justice leadership could have politicized his firing. If he committed wrongdoing, McCabe should be held accountable, but this incident should not define his service to the nation.
But there is a bigger principle at stake here than one FBI agent’s career. The public must not be manipulated by the selective release and withholding of investigative information by the Justice Department.
Nor– willingly or otherwise– should Congressman Goodlatte.