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Judge will not dismiss McCabe's case against DOJ

A federal judge Thursday allowed a lawsuit from former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeThe FBI should turn off the FARA faucet John Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges Carter Page sues over surveillance related to Russia probe MORE against the Department of Justice (DOJ) to go forward.  

McCabe is suing the Justice Department over his 2018 firing, accusing the agency of unlawfully demoting and then dismissing him just before his planned retirement due to perceived political bias in his work under then-Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyMystery surrounds Justice's pledge on journalist records NYT publisher: DOJ phone records seizure a 'dangerous incursion' on press freedom Trump DOJ seized phone records of New York Times reporters MORE

The DOJ sought to have the suit dismissed, saying the District Court for the District of Columbia does not have jurisdiction over McCabe’s claims, which it calls baseless.

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But Judge Randolph Moss, an Obama appointee, said the DOJ was misconstruing McCabe’s allegations and that it was too soon to dismiss the suit. 

“[P]ortions of Defendants’ motion are premised on a misunderstanding of the claims that Plaintiff asserts (and does not assert), while the remainder of the motion turns on disputed questions of fact that the Court cannot resolve at this stage of the proceeding. In short, it is too early in the case to determine which, if either, of the parties’ competing versions of the relevant facts is correct,” Moss ruled.

“The Court will, accordingly, DENY Defendants’ motion and will set a schedule for discovery and further proceedings,” he added. 

The DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The agency has defended its firing of McCabe following findings from its internal watchdog that he gave a leak to the media “designed to advance his personal interests at the expense of Department leadership.”

But McCabe has pushed back on those claims, citing public remarks from President TrumpDonald TrumpMaria Bartiromo defends reporting: 'Keep trashing me, I'll keep telling the truth' The Memo: The center strikes back Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat MORE bashing him ahead of his dismissal — allegations Moss said the court should hear. 

“Defendants might ultimately show that the Attorney General was not swayed by the President’s tweets and comments, but Plaintiff is entitled to test his claim of improper influence through discovery and the usual rules of civil litigation,” he ruled.