Politico

Garland defends $700K McCabe settlement


The Justice Department agreed to pay former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and his attorneys over $700,000 because lawyers for the government concluded that they were likely to lose a lawsuit McCabe filed over his firing by the Trump administration just hours before he was set to retire, Attorney General Merrick Garland told lawmakers on Wednesday.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) expressed outrage over the settlement, calling the move “beyond incredible” and noting that a Justice Department inspector general review found McCabe lied to investigators on seven occasions.

“The McCabe settlement was a recommendation of the career lawyers litigating that case based on their prospects of success in the case,” Garland said.

Garland contended that McCabe’s suit wasn’t focused on the issue of whether the former FBI official lied, but whether the department followed the proper process when then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired him amidst numerous calls from former President Donald Trump for such an action.

“It involved a claim that he was not given the amount of time necessary to respond to allegations,” Garland said. “The litigators concluded they needed to settle the case because of the likelihood of loss on the merits of that claim.”

McCabe has denied lying to FBI or Inspector General investigators. The 21-year FBI veteran contended that any misstatements he made about his knowledge of media contacts were the result of the overwhelming number of issues he was handling as a top executive at the nation’s premier law enforcement agency.

McCabe’s suit was broader than Garland stated, including claims that his firing was an act of political retaliation and violated his First Amendment rights.

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