Earlier today, a Gofundme account called “Friends of Andrew McCabe” set up a fundraiser for former FBI acting director Andrew McCabe’s legal fees. The original goal was $150,000, which was smashed in no time and later raised to $250,000. At the time this blog was posted, it had raised $222,263 from 5,267 people in five hours, an average donation of over $42. What is wrong with you people?
McCabe was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions two weeks ago, just over 24 hours before he was set to retire and begin receiving his pension, which the conservative Washington Free Beacon estimated to be worth $1.8 million. That sucks, sure, as does the president dancing on your grave because it happened. But after his firing, a bunch of members of Congress offered (very) temporary jobs for him so he could get his pension.
After reminding people about McCabe’s “long, distinguished, and unblemished career”—do you know what the FBI does?—and how McCabe got screwed over by Donald Trump, the pitch gets down to why it exists, which is to defend McCabe and also maybe help him sue some people:
The support for Mr. McCabe has been overwhelming, humbling, and deeply appreciated. He and his family continue to deal with the very public and extended humiliation that the Administration, and the President personally, have inflicted on them over the past year.
Unfortunately, the need for a legal defense fund is a growing reality. Media reports indicate that at a minimum, there are a number of congressional inquiries that he will be required to respond to, as well as the broader Office of the Inspector General (OIG) investigation that is ongoing, and any potential lawsuits he might consider.
The Gofundme stresses that it won’t be used for anything other than legal fees, and that after conclusion of whatever legal battles might arise from McCabe’s firing, his family will donate the rest “to a charity of their choosing.”
Andrew McCabe is not hard up for money. The conservative Washington Free Beacon reported earlier this year that McCabe’s average salary between 2015 and 2017, when he was in the senior leadership of the FBI, was over $157,000. He has been in various supervisory roles at the FBI since 2003. His pension may have taken a significant hit due to the fact that he was fired before it kicked in, but it’s very likely he’ll still get one; as Government Executive noted earlier this month, even the wife of spy Robert Hanssen received part of his pension—$39,000 a year—after his conviction, and McCabe will probably not be charged with criminal activity.
On top of that, it’s possible McCabe will write a book, considering he kept notes on his interactions with Donald Trump and James Comey’s book, for which he received “multi-millions” to write, hit the bestseller list earlier this month. Comey’s book won’t even be published until mid-April.
It’s a weird reflection on American politics and culture that a former FBI deputy director is soliciting donations to potentially sue the Attorney General and the president via the same website B.o.B. used to solicit donations to prove the Earth is flat, but regardless: McCabe can afford his legal fees.
Instead, consider giving that money to the family of Stephon Clark, whose Gofundme has been up for ten days and has raised less than half of McCabe’s. Or give it to families or organizations doing work (not the Red Cross) in Puerto Rico. Or give it to an organization fighting for the rights of immigrants or LGBTQ people. Or give something towards paying off the lunch balance of a bunch of kids at local public schools. Or give it to a person who does not have housing. Or leave it on a park bench.
Andrew McCabe? He doesn’t need it.
Update, 03/30/2018, 12:24 A.M. EST: Ten hours into the fundraiser, over $343,000 has been raised for McCabe so far.