The Justice Department handed former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe an explosive 50th birthday present Friday night, firing him two days before he would have been eligible for a lifetime pension, after deciding he lied to investigators reviewing the bureau’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s email server.

DOJ says it was taking its lead from the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility recommending McCabe be sacked. DOJ claims that watchdog report claimed McCabe misled investigators about his decision to authorize FBI officials to speak to the media about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

Horseradish, shot back McCabe, who insisted Friday night he was fired because of what he witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

“I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey,” McCabe said in a statement, calling tonight’s development part of a campaign to “slander” him and to “taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally.”

McCabe called DOJ’s move part of an ” ongoing effort to undermine my credibility because of the work that I did on the Russia case, because of the investigations that I oversaw and impacted that target this administration.”

“They have every reason to believe that I could end up being a significant witness in whatever [Special Counsel Robert Mueller] comes up with, and so they are trying to create this counter-narrative that I am not someone who can be believed or trusted,” McCabe told Politico.

This Sunday, his birthday, McCabe would have become eligible for early retirement benefits for his 20-plus years of service. He joined the bureau in New York in 1996, rising to become deputy to then-FBI director James Comey in early 2016.

McCabe had, at one point been on President Donald Trump’s list of possible Comey replacements.

But McCabe angered Trump, and, earlier Friday, Trump’s White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders derided McCabe as a “bad actor” for his involvement in the FBI’s probes of Hillary Clinton. McCabe’s the guy Trump reportedly asked who he voted for in the presidential election, shortly after McCabe became acting director of the bureau, when Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.

Trump relished whipping McCabe on Twitter:

DOJ had been expected to make the call on Friday, after meeting with him Thursday so he could plead his case. TV news outlets had erupted in late January with word McCabe told staff he was exiting immediately and would be on leave.