By Safvan Allahverdi
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions late on Friday fired an FBI employee just two days before his scheduled retirement date.
"Pursuant to Department Order 1202, and based on the report of the Inspector General, the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, and the recommendation of the Department’s senior career official, I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately," Sessions said in a statement.
McCabe, who stepped down as FBI deputy director in January, has long been criticized by U.S. President Donald Trump for misleading internal investigators at the Justice Department about his involvement in a public corruption investigation into the Clinton Foundation, which it is owned by 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
"Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI - A great day for Democracy," Trump said in a tweet.
"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!"
However, McCabe, in a blistering statement claimed that the move came to slander him and to discredit the FBI as well as the special counsel's investigation into the Trump campaign.
"This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally," McCabe said, slamming Sessions' announcement shortly afterwards.
"It is part of this Administration's ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel's work."
Friday's termination also blocked McCabe's retirement plan this Sunday when he would have become eligible to receive early retirement benefits.
In May 2017, the FBI was shaken when the former director James Comey was fired by Trump for his investigation on Russia investigation.