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Maryland Democratic Sen. Benjamin Cardin said it appeared "vindictive and political" for the Trump administration to fire Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe in a way that will likely affect his substantial pension.

Cardin, the ranking member on the foreign relations committee, said McCabe, 50, was one day away from retirement when Attorney General Jeff Sessions terminated him.

McCabe, accused by critics of untoward activity in regard to the Trump-Russia probe, had previously stepped down from his position but continued to be employed by the bureau.

"The way they went about this looks very much like it was vindictive and political," Cardin said. "Politics enter[ed] the Department of Justice when it shouldn't."

Dagen McDowell pressed Cardin on whether McCabe should be punished at all, and what recourse the government would have after the time of his retirement.

Cardin said there are other ways to punish people without threatening an entitlement like a pension.

He said it showed President Trump's "lack of respect for the independence of the FBI" and noted that the Republican has previously blasted McCabe on Twitter.

"Mr. McCabe's actions will speak for themselves," he said, adding that the "timing" of the firing was intentionally set to possibly affect McCabe's pension.

McCabe had been criticized for alleged "lack of candor" in the Russia probe, as well as for his connection to Clinton confidant Terry McAuliffe.

McAuliffe, a recent Virginia governor and former DNC chairman, bundled nearly $700,000 for McCabe's wife, who unsuccessfully sought to unseat State Sen. Dick Black (R-Purcellville).

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