The firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe days before his retirement was a rare case of justice.

Both the Justice Department inspector general and the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility found that “McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor—including under oath—on multiple occasions.” Even one Democratic politician conceded that McCabe’s firing “may have been justified.”

But in the federal bureaucracy, very few people who deserve to be fired actually are.

Firing government employees is an onerous process. It requires investigations, counseling sessions, appeals, union arbitrations, and court hearings, all of which can take years. Managers are more likely to simply look the other way than go through the firing process.

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