By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired by the Trump administration but said he was fired because he is a crucial witness in the Russia investigation, has raised more than $ 292,000 in seven hours to help cover defense costs against other ongoing government investigations, the funding website showed.
A statement on the GoFundMe website released Thursday morning said the goal was to raise $ 150,000 from the public, but it rose to $ 250,000 due to a response that “has been remarkable and beyond our expectations.”
The action represents an escalation of the battle between McCabe and the administration over his firing amid strong criticism from President Donald Trump. It also raises the possibility that McCabe could legally challenge his dismissal in the future.
“Andrew McCabe’s career with the FBI was long, distinguished, and flawless,” the statement said. “His reward for that has been a completely unjustified termination, amid repeated ad hominem attacks by the President of the United States.” https://www.gofundme.com/andrewmccabelegaldefensefund
The page features a photo of McCabe with his wife, two children, and the family dog, Jeremiah.
On March 16, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he was firing McCabe after the Justice Department inspector general concluded that the veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation had leaked information to the press and misled the public. investigators about their actions.
The report used as the basis for the dismissal has not yet been made public. Following McCabe’s firing, Trump took to Twitter, declaring that it was a “great day for democracy.”
McCabe’s firing occurred less than two days before his 50th birthday, when he would have been eligible to retire from the Federal Bureau of Investigation with his full pension.
McCabe has questioned the findings of the inspector general’s office. He said he believes he faces retaliation from the administration because he is a crucial witness to whether Trump may have tried to obstruct a criminal investigation now led by special counsel Robert Mueller into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
While he was the second FBI official, McCabe was deeply involved in overseeing investigations into the use of a private email server by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and whether Russia colluded with the Trump campaign. . Trump has denied that collusion occurred and Russia has denied doing so.
Reuters has reported that McCabe kept contemporaneous notes after his conversations with Trump, as well as notes related to former FBI Director James Comey’s conversations with Trump.
Trump fired Comey in 2017, prompting Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint Mueller as special counsel. Trump later acknowledged in a televised interview that he fired Comey for “this from Russia.”
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