(CNSNews.com) - Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, fired on Friday two days before his government retirement benefits kicked in, leaked to the press and lied under oath, according to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The Justice Department released the following statement from Sessions on Friday night:
After an extensive and fair investigation and according to Department of Justice procedure, the Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) provided its report on allegations of misconduct by Andrew McCabe to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).
The FBI’s OPR then reviewed the report and underlying documents and issued a disciplinary proposal recommending the dismissal of Mr. McCabe. Both the OIG and FBI OPR reports concluded that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor -- including under oath -- on multiple occasions.
The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability. As the OPR proposal stated, ‘all FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal and that our integrity is our brand.’
Pursuant to Department Order 1202, and based on the report of the Inspector General, the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, and the recommendation of the Department’s senior career official, I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately.
Specific details about McCabe's alleged transgressions are not yet known because the DOJ inspector general has not released his report to the public. That is expected to happen in coming weeks.
But in the meantime, McCabe himself released a statement after he was fired, claiming he's the target of "an unrelenting assault" on his reputation. He said he didn't lack candor -- he was "distracted in the midst of chaotic events."
McCabe said the DOJ inspector-general's investigation stems from McCabe's supervision of investigations involving Hillary Clinton.
"I was being portrayed in the media over and over as a political partisan, accused of closing down investigations under political pressure," McCabe wrote. "The FBI was portrayed as caving under that pressure, and making decisions for political rather than law enforcement purposes. Nothing was further from the truth.
"In fact, this entire investigation stems from my efforts, fully authorized under FBI rules, to set the record straight on behalf of the Bureau, and to make clear that we were continuing an investigation that people in DOJ opposed."
McCabe said the OIG investigation focuses on information he "chose to share with a reporter."
"As Deputy Director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that," McCabe wrote. "It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the Director (Comey), were aware of the interaction with the reporter. It was the type of exchange with the media that the Deputy Director oversees several times per week. In fact, it was the same type of work that I continued to do under Director Wray, at his request."
McCabe said the OIG asked him who he talked to, when, "and so forth."
"During these inquiries, I answered questions truthfully and as accurately as I could amidst the chaos that surrounded me. And when I thought my answers were misunderstood, I contacted investigators to correct them."
McCabe said he has always prided himself on serving the country with integrity: "To have my career end in this way, and to be accused of lacking candor when at worst I was distracted in the midst of chaotic events, is incredibly disappointing and unfair."
McCabe said he believes he is being singled out because of what he did and what he saw after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.
He said the OIG's recommendation that he be fired was "accelerated" after McCabe told the House intelligence committee that he would corroborate Comey's accounts of Comey's discussions with President Trump.
"The OIG's focus on me and this report became a part of an unprecedented effort by the Administration, driven by the President himself, to remove me from my position, destroy my reputation, and possibly strip me of a pension that I worked 21 years to earn. The accelerated release of the report, and the punitive actions taken in response, make sense only when viewed through this lens."