01:57 - Source: CNN
Trump celebrates McCabe firing on Twitter
CNN  — 

The fundraising page for a legal defense fund for fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has managed to raise $500,000 within its first 48 hours.

By Saturday morning, the GoFundMe page had far surpassed its updated fundraising goal of $250,000, largely through small donations, since it was set up Thursday with an initial goal of $150,000.

“Although we know legal fees could exceed that based on the path ahead, we will not be raising the goal again,” a spokesperson for McCabe told CNN in an email.

The page says the fund is intended for use in dealing with a Department of Justice inspector general investigation, congressional inquires, and potential lawsuits.

After more than two decades of service in the FBI, McCabe was fired earlier this month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said he was taking the action after the inspector general and the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility concluded McCabe had made “an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor − including under oath − on multiple occasions,” which is a career-ending offense.

McCabe was fired a little more than 24 hours before his expected retirement on his 50th birthday, when he would have become eligible to receive early retirement benefits. The firing could put a significant portion of those benefits in jeopardy, CNN has reported.

The FBI’s former second-in-command has denied he misled the inspector general when questioned about authorizing FBI agents to speak with the news media. McCabe also argued his termination is part of the administration’s larger effort to discredit the FBI and the special counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

According to the GoFundMe page, the funds raised will be solely used for his legal defense.

McCabe “will continue to fight for the pension and benefits he deserves, rather than accept any crowdfunding for that purpose,” the page said, adding that any remaining funds will be donated to charity.