That’s one way of protesting Andrew McCabe’s firing as deputy FBI director, roughly a day before he was set to retire: At least one Democratic congressman has offered McCabe a temporary job so he can get full retirement benefits — and McCabe appears to be considering.
Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) announced Saturday afternoon that he has offered McCabe a job to work on election security in his office, “so that he can reach the needed length of service” to retire.
“My offer of employment to Mr. McCabe is a legitimate offer to work on election security,” Pocan said in a statement. “Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of American democracy and both Republicans and Democrats should be concerned about election integrity.”
A spokeswoman for McCabe, Melissa Schwartz, didn’t immediately rule out a job with one of the most liberal members of Congress, which might only need to last for a day or so for him to get his full retirement benefits: “We are considering all options.”
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) tweeted that he’d consider hiring McCabe, too.
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
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
It’s not immediately clear if getting fired from the FBI on a Friday and going to work on Capitol Hill on a Monday would solve McCabe’s problems for certain, though at least one former federal official with knowledge of retirement rules says it probably would.
McCabe’s team is confident that he had at least 20 years of law enforcement work under his belt — defined as carrying a weapon or supervising people who do — which made him eligible to retire on his 50th birthday on Sunday, with full retirement benefits.
With those 20 years, he would need to just go to work with the federal government for another day or so in any job he pleases, whether that’s as a election security analyst for a Wisconsin congressman or a typist for a day, to get full benefits, said the former official who spoke to The Fix. The job doesn’t matter so much as the fact that he’s working within the federal government with the same retirement benefits until or after his 50th birthday. (Though this former official stressed that it would probably look more ethical if McCabe worked for at least a pay period rather than just one day.)
McCabe began working at the FBI’s New York field office in 1996, was promoted to a supervisor position at the FBI’s headquarters in 2006, and held various jobs at the bureau until 2016, when he was named deputy director. His final job at the FBI was an executive perch that likely doesn’t count toward his law enforcement job, said the former retirement official.
McCabe stepped down from his FBI job in January amid attacks from President Trump, but he had been using up accumulated leave to get to his birthday to receive full retirement benefits — a move Trump attacked him for on Twitter after The Washington Post reported his plans.
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2017
Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe late Friday night, about 26 hours before McCabe’s retirement, citing an inspector general report from the Justice Department that had found “that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions.”
McCabe spent hours at the FBI on Thursday pleading with officials to let him keep his job until he hit full retirement benefits.
On Saturday evening, a spokesman for Pocan said they hadn’t yet heard from McCabe on his job offer.
Matt Zapotowsky contributed to this report.