Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has become the latest quasi-martyr at the hands of President Donald Trump for the Democrats. He’s like the James Comey of 2018. Just less famous.
There are, of course, a few problems in the incipient liberal martyrdom of McCabe, who was fired just 26 hours before his retirement due to allegations he improperly talked to the media and lacked candor in interviews with FBI officials, and one surprising Democrat has stepped forward to point that out.
First, his firing was recommended by a group of veteran disciplinary officials at the FBI and carried out by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who isn’t exactly a favorite of the president.
Second, he was fired for offenses that are clearly fireable in any circumstance — and for which he had already decided on an early retirement.
Third, his defenders seem more obsessed with bashing Trump and his administration than declaring McCabe is in any way innocent.
At least one Democrat is breaking ranks and entertaining the possibility that McCabe had committed a fireable offense, and it’s a surprising one.
In an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, California Rep. Adam Schiff — the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and one of the Trump administration’s most vociferous critics — said that his party oughtn’t rush to judgment when it came to McCabe’s firing.
Schiff was asked by host George Stephanopoulos if “the fact that the inspector general … did find that he lacked candor in some of his responses and that his firing was recommended by career FBI officials, does that give you pause and does it suggest that, in fact, his firing was or may be justified?”
“You know, his firing may be justified,” Schiff said.
“There’s no way for us to know at this point, but even though it may have been justified, it can also be tainted,” he added.
“And I think the president’s badgering of the attorney general, his urging that he be fired before his pension could vest, and the fact that McCabe and every other of the James Comey associates … who corroborate James Comey on the issue of potential obstruction of justice, every one of them has been targeted by the administration, by the Republicans and Congress,” Schiff continued.
“And is this because they corroborate James Comey? That’s a question we also have to answer.”
Now, the last part is to be expected of Schiff, who certainly has demonstrated he’s a party-line Democrat in good standing on many occasions.
However, unlike the reactionary responses we saw from many on the left to McCabe’s firing, some of which seemed to stop just short of actual threats, the fact that Schiff is actually willing to consider facts — or say that he’s willing to consider facts — is a surprisingly positive sign.
McCabe’s firing is bound to trigger another round of Washington hysteria of the type we saw over James Comey’s firing: innuendoes, hearings, calls for impeachment, all that jazz.
However, while the rest of his party seems to be ramping up for another storming of the White House, Adam Schiff seems receptive to the facts. And the facts, it so happens, don’t exactly seem to be in McCabe’s favor, at least as they stand now.
How Schiff reacts to this in the end is anyone’s guess, but (for once) we can commend him for actually taking a rational stand on an issue not many in his party are willing to be very rational about.
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