- The Washington Times - Monday, March 19, 2018

Sen. Marco Rubio said during an NBC “Meet the Press” appearance that the truth-challenged ex-FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe should have been allowed to retire, peacefully and pension-ready, rather than face the firing squad of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

And that right there is what’s wrong with the political class in Washington, D.C.

Truth and integrity and ethics all matter, right? Except when politics and special interest trump, of course.

McCabe was found by his own Department of Justice inspector general to have failed to have adhered to the FBI’s standards of integrity and honesty when he made several unauthorized statements to the media — and under oath — on several occasions. And, as the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility states: “All FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal and that our integrity is our brand.”

The FBI is only as good as its reputation.

McCabe broke that code. So Sessions, in accordance with IG recommendations, fired him, just two days before his pension would have kicked in.

Oh well. Truth hurts, as they say.

But now Rubio wants to defend McCabe?

“I don’t like the way it happened,” Rubio said, of McCabe’s Friday firing, Breitbart noted. “He should have been allowed to finish through the weekend.”

His point was that the IG report wasn’t sacrosanct and that any “actionable” wrongdoings by McCabe could still have been pursued by the proper authorities, even if he had been allowed to retire with grace.

But that misses the point. Sympathizing with McCabe tips to a heart and mind that aren’t in the right place.

This country needs to believe its political class, its Washington, D.C., insider class, is held to the same standard than the average Joe and Jane class.

Publicly firing McCabe sends that message. Publicly firing McCabe two days before his retirement says hey, this is America, where justice is blind and nobody is above the law.

Bluntly speaking, Americans already know that’s not true — Americans are already jaded by the realism of a legal system that treats celebrities, the wealthy and the well-connected to a better deal than the Have Nots. But that doesn’t mean the point has to be completely ceded.

Once in a while, it’s good to remind the people that Lady Justice is still alive.

And McCabe’s deceits give just that occasion.

Sessions was quite right in firing him — Rubio, on the other hand, off-kilter, heavy on the hat tip to Washington elitism.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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