Trump Deposition to Be Sought in McCabe Suit Over FBI Firing

Lawyers for Andrew McCabe are planning to seek President Donald Trump’s deposition as part of a lawsuit against the government alleging the former FBI deputy director was wrongfully fired.

McCabe’s lawyer, Murad Hussain, asked U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss at a Friday hearing in Washington to build time into the discovery process to allow the legal team to seek Trump’s testimony. A Justice Department lawyer, Justin Sandberg, responded that deposing the president would not be “appropriate.”

“A deposition of the president is an extraordinary thing,” Sandberg said. “We don’t think it makes sense to extend all discovery because of one potential deposition that may entail significant litigation.”

Trump Deposition to Be Sought in McCabe Suit Over FBI Firing

The possibility of testifying in McCabe case adds to the legal headaches Trump will likely face if he loses the election. The presidency has allowed him to delay a number of other cases in which his deposition has been sought. Unlike some of those other cases, Trump is not a defendant in McCabe’s lawsuit.

Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe in March 2018, just before his planned retirement. At the time, Sessions said McCabe was dismissed because he was insufficiently forthcoming about authorizing conversations between Federal Bureau of Investigation officials and a Wall Street Journal reporter.

But McCabe claims the firing was politically motivated. He was heavily involved in the politically explosive investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia and witnessed first-hand events surrounding the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. McCabe, who became acting director after Comey’s firing and served in that role until Christopher Wray was confirmed as the new director, provided testimony to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who took over the Russia probe.

Comey, McCabe and other FBI officials became targets of right-wing commentators who alleged a “deep state” conspiracy against Trump. On Twitter, the president accused McCabe of “treason” and said he protected Hillary Clinton from prosecution in 2016 in part because his wife received a donation from a Clinton-allied political action committee when she unsuccessfully ran for a Virginia state senate seat as a Democrat.

The government called for discovery to end by April 26, 2021, while McCabe’s lawyers requested a deadline of Oct. 28. Moss split the difference between the two proposals, setting the end of discovery for July 30.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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