WASHINGTON (CN) – Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director who claims his firing by Attorney General Jeff Sessions was politically motivated, sued the Justice Department Tuesday night for access to records he says are being unfairly hidden from him.
McCabe, who replaced James Comey as director of the FBI after Comey’s very public and controversial ousting, was terminated just 26 hours before he was scheduled to retire on March 16 this year.
According to a 36-page filing by McCabe’s attorney David Snyder of the Washington, D.C. firm Boies, Schiller Flexner, the Justice Department’s “findings that [McCabe] engaged in administrative misconduct” are premised on “material misstatements, mischaracterizations and omissions.”
“These alleged findings appear in a report which, although dated February 2018, was not publicly issued until April 14, 2018—nearly one month after Mr. McCabe’s dismissal,” Snyder wrote.
While the Justice Department has claimed “again and again” that it complied with all necessary protocol when firing McCabe, the former deputy director says the department has ignored his requests for a disclosure of department policies and procedures used around his firing.
The alleged brush off led McCabe’s to file the Freedom of Information Act request on Tuesday in a federal court in Washington D.C.
He specifically seeks procedural documents and manuals used at both the FBI and the Office of the Inspector General.
The agency’s respective refusals to hand over the information, Snyder writes, has left McCabe without the power to “vindicate [his] rights and restore his good name.”
The request comes just days before the Justice Department’s inspector general will release an oversight report featuring criticism of several senior FBI officials, including McCabe, who were involved in the Hillary Clinton email investigation, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
When McCabe was ousted, the department’s inspector general alleged McCabe was fired for deceiving investigators and misleading department officials, including Comey.
The inspector general also claimed McCabe improperly gave FBI officials approval to speak with a Wall Street Journal reporter for information on the agency’s investigation of the Clinton Foundation.
Facing recommendations that he be criminally prosecuted for the allegedly false statements made during the interview, McCabe has said his answers were misunderstood.
The confusion was inadvertent bungling, he claims, as he was merely trying to correct the record with investigators.
Not only did the department refuse to turn over the requested manuals, they also allegedly refused to give McCabe’s attorneys access to a library or reading room where they could review the materials under watch.
The failure to disclose the information has kept McCabe from knowing whether or not the inspector followed its own rules when they kicked him out of the agency.
“On information and belief, [the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General] fear that disclosure of the [manual] to plaintiff will place [them] and others at risk in any proceedings brought against them by Mr. McCabe,” Snyder wrote. “Based on these fears, defendants appear to have preemptively decided not to disclose the documents to.. any further administrative review would be futile.”
Snyder also claims the FBI refused to provide McCabe with the FBI’s “offense codes and penalty guideline” after he made a request via email on May 3.
With 24 hours, the agency responded, denying McCabe’s request.
He was given one piece of advice, however.
If he wanted official FBI documents, he could sue for them.
Neither the Justice Department nor the FBI immediately responded to request for comment.