Media's Talking Point About McCabe Losing Pension Was Completely Inaccurate
Following the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Friday, reports began circulating that the timing of the firing meant McCabe lost his eligibility for a federal pension — a claim shown to be completely inaccurate.
“McCabe has been fired 26 hours before his formal retirement — a move that could cost him his federal pension,” wrote Vox.
NBC’s Andrea Mitchell also spread this notion through a tweet published Saturday. “One suggestion from a McCabe supporter: if a friendly member of Congress hired him for a week he could possibly qualify for pension benefits by extending his service the extra days.”
One suggestion from a McCabe supporter: if a friendly member of Congress hired him for a week he could possibly qualify for pension benefits by extending his service the extra days
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) March 17, 2018
Several Democrat politicians replied to Mitchell’s tweet, expressing interest in hiring McCabe so he could receive the pension.
“Would be happy to consider this. The Sixth District of MA would benefit from the wisdom and talent of such an experienced public servant,” tweeted Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton.
Would be happy to consider this. The Sixth District of MA would benefit from the wisdom and talent of such an experienced public servant. https://t.co/ynQWhdzQpC
— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) March 17, 2018
Maryland Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin tweeted, “What a vicious and terrible thing to do to a man who devoted 21 years of service to this country. Trump is purging people who refuse to put the President’s politics ahead of the people’s interests.”
He then made an offer: “Andrew McCabe: I have the need to hire a Special Senior Staff Attorney to help me with my work on the House Judiciary Committee dealing with threats to the Constitution and the rule of law in America. You’re perfect for the job. DM me.”
Andrew McCabe: I have the need to hire a Special Senior Staff Attorney to help me with my work on the House Judiciary Committee dealing with threats to the Constitution and the rule of law in America. You're perfect for the job. DM me.
— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) March 17, 2018
Several other Democrat politicians made similar offers:
Andrew call me. I could use a good two-day report on the biggest crime families in Washington, D.C. https://t.co/DYVP00Em0x
— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) March 17, 2018
To Andrew McCabe: If you need a federal job, call me on Monday. I am serious. We have to stand up to bullies like @realDonaldTrump & @jeffsessions @USAGSessions #Resist #twill #AndrewMcCabeFired #standuptobullies #chicago @Comey
— Luis V. Gutierrez (@RepGutierrez) March 17, 2018
As explained by Forbes contributor Elizabeth Bauer, these statements give “the impression of a veteran, elderly federal official being cheated out of his pension accruals due to a vindictive Trump administration.”
However, the notion that McCabe lost his entire pension is untrue.
As outlined in the Federal Employees Retirement System, federal employees are guaranteed pensions after five years of employment.
“McCabe is all of 49 years old, likely 50 by the time readers see this, and what he lost out on was … the ability to take his benefits at age 50, rather than somewhere between age 57 and age 62, and he lost his eligibility to a special top-up in benefit formula,” Bauer explained.
In other words, McCabe will still be eligible to receive his pension at full retirement age.
McCabe was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions for having made “unauthorized disclosure to the news media” and for having “lacked candor − including under oath − on multiple occasions.”
“The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability. I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately,” Sessions said in a statement.
McCabe disputed the basis for his firing.
“The idea that I was dishonest is just wrong. … This is part of an effort to discredit me as a witness,” he said in an interview after his firing.
“I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey.”
President Donald Trump celebrated the move.
Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2018
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