Lawsuits filed within days of each other by former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Andrew McCabe are raising many eyebrows.
McCabe, the former FBI Deputy Director who was fired in 2018 after the inspector general determined he “lacked candor” about leaking to the media, filed a lawsuit just two days after Strzok, the counterintelligence agent in both the Hillary Clinton email and Russia probes.
While Strzok’s lawyer claimed there is “no connection” between the two lawsuits against the Justice Department and FBI, each claiming wrongful termination in firings that were allegedly politically motivated, others find the timing at least questionable.
“There are definitely similarities but there’s absolutely no connection until today. I didn’t know Andy McCabe was filing this lawsuit,” Strzok’s attorney, Aitan Goelman, told MSNBC‘s Rachel Maddow on Thursday.
Strzok, whose anti-Trump text messages led to his removal from Robert Mueller’s investigation team, was fired as “a result of President Trump’s unrelenting retaliatory campaign of false information, attacks and direct appeals to top officials,” Goelman said in a statement.
Peter Strzok sues DOJ and FBI for his job back, claims his anti-Trump texts were protected free speech https://t.co/HFJoJVlrCs
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 6, 2019
McCabe’s lawsuit alleged that the Justice Department engaged in a “politically motivated and retaliatory demotion in January 2018 and public firing in March 2018.” He is demanding back pay, his full pension, and for his record to be expunged.
Many are wondering if there is a connection after all with the two lawsuits being filed this week, in light of the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation into alleged surveillance abuse as well as Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into the origins of the Russia probe.
“It’s almost as if McCabe and Strzok were notified of the same news at the same time and are desperately trying to spin their way out of it, knowing they’ll have a compliant media and weeks before the IG report is released to lie to the public about their corruption,” The Federalist’s Sean David tweeted.
The timing of these bizarre lawsuits from McCabe and Strzok makes me wonder if they’re trying to get ahead of indictments stemming from the DOJ inspector general’s investigation into FBI corruption and attempting to pose as victims of retaliation. https://t.co/UBz0KjmapG
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) August 8, 2019
It’s almost as if McCabe and Strzok were notified of the same news at the same time and are desperately trying to spin their way out of it, knowing they’ll have a compliant media and weeks before the IG report is released to lie to the public about their corruption.
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) August 8, 2019
President of conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton also questioned the thoughts behind the lawsuits.
Methinks McCabe and Strzok lawsuits say more about their worries about indictments… https://t.co/Bxk17oIAP1
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) August 8, 2019
Writer Mike Cernovich was grateful to Strzok because now, “all your emails and texts on all phones with your mistress will be revealed!”
Discovery into your crimes will be amazing, thank you for suing! Now you can’t hide behind privilege. All your emails and texts on all phones with your mistress will be revealed!
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) August 6, 2019
Rep. Jim Jordan questioned the timing of the lawsuits as well, as they came on the heels of the release of the FBI’s interview reports with DOJ official Bruce Ohr, who acted as a sort of connector between the agency and anti-Trump dossier author Christopher Steele.
“I think the big irony here and what drives Americans crazy is the very week we get this information, Bruce Ohr’s 302s, and sort of puts it all together for us, the very week we get that is the same week these people at the upper echelon are suing the American taxpayer to get paid for wrongful termination,” the Ohio Republican told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
Others also weighed in on the almost back-to-back lawsuits and whether they are an indication that Strzok and McCabe are nervous.
So it’s not just Peter Strzok—now Andrew McCabe is also suing the DOJ, demanding his old job and pension back.
Yes, this is the same Andrew McCabe who got caught by the Inspector General leaking to the media and showing “lack of candor” (lying) to investigators.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) August 8, 2019
I’ve been saying for 2 years these guys think this is a PR campaign and the media is their ace card.
They’re going to find out it’s not.
PR won’t save them.
— Brian Cates (@drawandstrike) August 8, 2019
They want to get ahead of the narrative and try to spin it as persecution.
And the media will willingly play along.
Just watch and see
— Donna Willett (@mizdonna) August 8, 2019
I doubt either Strzok or McCabe will follow through because they will have to be deposed about their crimes under oath. They could get hit with criminal charges or perjury. Probably hoping the DOJ will settle or reinsert them if the WH changes hands.
— HalleFan7171 (@HalleFan7171) August 8, 2019
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