Justice Dept. failed to give McCabe info on firing


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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has repeatedly refused to provide former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe with documents related to his firing, according to a lawsuit filed on his behalf today.

The complaint says the Justice Department has publicly defended the firing yet failed to identify for McCabe the policies and procedures it followed before dismissing him.

The department has withheld the information, McCabe's lawyers allege, for fear the materials could be used against them in any additional lawsuits.

"We don't create or adjudicate under secret law or procedure," David Snyder, one of McCabe's lawyers, said in an email to The Associated Press.

The case pits the career law enforcement official against a Justice Department that employed him for more than two decades. It refocuses attention on a firing last March that divided current and former Justice Department officials. And it signals that McCabe, repeatedly targeted for criticism and attacks by President Donald Trump in the last year, is determined to try to clear his name in court even as he faces a possible criminal probe into whether he intentionally misled internal investigators.

The lawsuit in federal court in Washington also comes just days ahead of a Justice Department inspector general report expected to criticize senior FBI officials, including McCabe, for their actions during the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

McCabe's lawyers say in the complaint that they want the records as they "seek to vindicate Mr. McCabe's rights and restore his good name," and as they weigh whether to take more legal action over a firing they contend was improper. The case names as defendants the Justice Department, the FBI and the inspector general's office.

A spokeswoman for the Justice Department declined to comment this evening, and a spokesman for the watchdog office did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe on March 16, less than two days before his scheduled retirement, on the recommendation of FBI and Justice Department officials. McCabe, who joined the FBI in 1996 and was named to the No. 2 position 20 years later, became the bureau's acting leader after the firing in May 2017 of James Comey as director.

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