Former FBI Director James Comey just came out in defense of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe who announced his early retirement earlier today.
Special Agent Andrew McCabe stood tall over the last 8 months, when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on. He served with distinction for two decades. I wish Andy well. I also wish continued strength for the rest of the FBI. America needs you.
— James Comey (@Comey) January 30, 2018
McCabe has suffered an onslaught of attacks from both the President and Congressional Republicans since assuming his position last year after Trump fired James Comey. McCabe has weathered the partisan storm through the ongoing investigation headed up by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential obstruction of justice by the President.
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McCabe was facing pressure from FBI Director Christopher Wray who threatened to demote him after reviewing a report critical of some FBI employees behavior during the 2016 election. Rather than face a demotion, McCabe resigned, despite a planned retirement a mere month away.
The Deputy Director had a contentious relationship with the President, who has been harshly critical of McCabe on Twitter and in private. Reports allege that Trump tried to extract from him a loyalty oath of sorts – he asked McCabe who he voted for in the 2016 election – which smacks of the same questionable behavior Trump engaged in with Comey before his firing.
Trump also aimed below the belt with his attacks on McCabe. The President reportedly went after McCabe’s wife, who ran unsuccessfully for state office in Virgina in 2015. He told McCabe to ask his wife “how does it feel to be a loser.”
McCabe finally announced his resignation today, after months of targeted pressure from the President and his supporters.
Comey is perhaps the only person who knows what McCabe is going through, having gone through a version of it himself not too long ago. As a career government official who maintained a fierce commitment to protecting the constitution until the end, Comey’s words should provide McCabe with a modicum of comfort.