Washington (CNN)Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe may have been fired, but a member of Congress has extended an opportunity for McCabe to continue working in the federal government in hopes it can help him earn more retirement benefits.
A lawmaker offered a job to McCabe, but it's unclear how it would work for him to take it
Rep. Mark Pocan, a Wisconsin Democrat, offered a job to McCabe, according to a statement from his office over the weekend. The job is "to work on election security," Pocan said in the statement.
"He deserves the full retirement that he has been promised, not to have it taken away as a result of the President's political games," Pocan said.
Pocan's office did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment for additional details. Melissa Schwartz, a spokesperson for McCabe, declined to comment on any specific offer.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired the former FBI deputy director Friday, two days before McCabe was set to retire, ending his two-decade career with the bureau.
"This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement and intelligence professionals more generally," McCabe said in a statement after his firing.
McCabe had been expected to retire this Sunday, on his 50th birthday, when he would have become eligible to receive early retirement benefits. Federal law enforcement officials with more than 20 years of experience can receive their pension early after they turn 50, pulling in a yearly payout at an enhanced rate due to their specialized work, according to federal guidelines.
Michael Spekter, a federal employment attorney in Washington, told CNN this opportunity on the Hill could work for McCabe because he has already banked the 20-plus years of experience required for the early retirement. He just needed to hit the age requirement to retire.
"He has more than 21 years of law enforcement experience so that's not the issue," he said. "The issue is only his age. They hire him again, he goes back on the rolls, and then all of a sudden can retire."
Still, the possible opportunity is untested, and not all experts agree it would work.
"It's possible McCabe could be reemployed and retain special coverage, but it's not entirely without potential problems and there remains some uncertainty," said Kimberly Berry, a federal employment lawyer in Virginia.
Among them, according to Berry, McCabe may need to return to federal employment within three days of his termination to prevent a break in coverage, and because a position on the Hill may not qualify as a law enforcement job, it's unclear if that would affect the necessary continuity. McCabe's misconduct charge by FBI and Justice Department officials could also be a potential issue, Berry said.
A final decision on any of these questions may well rest with the chief of the Office of Personnel Management, who is a Trump appointee, Berry noted. OPM did not respond to CNN's request for comment.