In a likely precursor to future legal action, a lawyer for former FBI Deputy Director Andy McCabe opened a new legal front in his client’s ongoing dustup with his ex-employer.
McCabe counsel David Snyder filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice Tuesday. Snyder is a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner who has experience representing global and Fortune 500 companies. McCabe retained Boies Schiller earlier this year to work alongside his lawyer Michael Bromwich, senior counsel at litigation boutique Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauber.
Snyder’s complaint alleged that the defendants, which also includes the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General, have refused to hand over documents that could shed light on the proceedings that led to McCabe’s controversial dismissal.
McCabe, a career FBI employee who was at one point the acting director, was fired in March. At the time, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the dismissal was based on findings that McCabe “lacked candor” with investigators.
But McCabe’s defenders said his dismissal— which occurred just 26 hours before his planned retirement, and stripped him of retirement benefits—was politically-motivated.
Tuesday’s complaint appears to foreshadow future litigation from McCabe, beyond the document dispute. The filings said the proceedings that led to his firing “violated federal law” and “departed” from administrative policies and procedures.
After the release of the report from the DOJ Office of the Inspector General, Bromwich indicated in a statement that he and McCabe were considering filing civil suits against the Trump administration alleging wrongful termination, defamation and constitutional violations. That was also when Bromwich announced Boies Schiller’s involvement in McCabe’s legal team.
“This is just the beginning,” the statement read at the time.
The documents at the center of Tuesday’s complaint, Snyder suggested, are essential to getting to the bottom of why McCabe—a figure who has also become wrapped up in the president’s attacks of the special counsel probe and law enforcement agencies—was dismissed.
“Defendants have publicly claimed, again and again, that they complied with all applicable law, policies, and procedures when they investigated, adjudicated and dismissed Mr. McCabe from the FBI,” the complaint read. “Plaintiff has repeatedly requested that defendants disclose those policies and procedures.”
“Those requests have been denied by some of the same high-ranking officials who were involved in, or were responsible for, the investigation, adjudication, and/or dismissal of Mr. McCabe,” it added.
Not only did the FBI refuse to comply with document requests, Snyder alleged, but they also barred the lawyer “from accessing defendants’ physical library, which contains some (or perhaps all) of the documents at issue here,” he wrote.