When the U.S. Justice Department settled a lawsuit brought by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Thursday, the department agreed to a statement about avoiding “the appearance of improper political influence.”

Both McCabe and DOJ agreed that “executive branch officials” outside DOJ should generally avoid public comment on disciplinary matters within the civil service, keeping any hint of political bias out of its personnel decisions. McCabe, and his lawyers at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, alleged that his firing from the FBI in 2018 was the result of Trump’s political animus.