Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe sued the FBI and the Justice Department on Thursday over his firing.

The lawsuit, the second this week from an ex-FBI official challenging the circumstances of his termination, says the firing was part of Trump’s plan to rid the bureau of leaders he perceived as disloyal to him.

The complaint contends that the two officials responsible for demoting and then firing McCabe — FBI Director Chris Wray and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions — created a pretext to force him out.

The stated reason for the firing was that McCabe had misled investigators over his involvement in a news media leak.

Republican Rep. Mark Meadows responded by asserting McCabe was lying to investigators.

“So it’s not just Peter Strzok—now Andrew McCabe is also suing the DOJ, demanding his old job and pension back,” Meadows tweeted. “Yes, this is the same Andrew McCabe who got caught by the Inspector General leaking to the media and showing “lack of candor” (lying) to investigators.”

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), speaks to media on Capitol Hill in Washington on Oct. 25, 2018. (Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo)

The lawsuit says the government sped up disciplinary proceedings so McCabe could be fired ahead of his planned retirement and without receiving full benefits. It asks for a judge to declare McCabe’s firing unconstitutional and to declare him entitled to his full pension and other benefits.

McCabe was fired in March 2018 after a Justice Department inspector general report found he had repeatedly misstated his involvement in a news media disclosure regarding FBI investigations involving Clinton. The watchdog office referred the matter to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, which has been investigating.

“I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground, in an indelible fashion,” McCabe said in the February interview. “That were I removed quickly, or reassigned or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace.”

At that time, President Trump responded, “Wow, so many lies by now disgraced acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “He was fired for lying, and now his story gets even more deranged. He and [Deputy Attorney General] Rod Rosenstein, who was hired by [former Attorney General] Jeff Sessions (another beauty), look like they were planning a very illegal act, and got caught…”

“There is a lot of explaining to do to the millions of people who had just elected a president who they really like and who has done a great job for them with the Military, Vets, Economy and so much more,” Trump continued. “This was the illegal and treasonous ‘insurance policy’ in full action!”

A news emerged in the fall of 2016 that McCabe’s wife had accepted campaign contributions from former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe during an unsuccessful run for the state Senate there. McAuliffe is a close ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton, who was being investigated at the time for her use of a personal email server.

On Tuesday, former FBI agent Peter Strzok also sued the FBI and Justice Department. He said the FBI had been influenced by “unrelenting pressure” from the president when it fired him.

McCabe spent 21 years with the FBI. He became acting director in May 2017 after the president fired former director James Comey.

Includes reporting from the Associated Press.

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