FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe stepping down ahead of planned retirement
McCabe planned to retire this spring but had been under attack from some Republicans.
Andrew McCabe on Monday left his job as deputy director of the FBI after enduring withering attacks from President Trump and other Republicans.
McCabe went on leave from the FBI on Monday, pending the effective date of his retirement in March, said two government officials familiar with the move.
McCabe already had intended to retire this spring, but his presence at the bureau had increasingly become a focal point of anger for Trump, who continues to fume about the special counsel investigation into his campaign’s dealings with Russia. The earlier-than-expected departure was first reported by NBC.
Last month, Trump gave a push to McCabe, questioning reports that he would stay in the job until the spring: “90 days to go?!!!” Trump tweeted. He has highlighted the fact that McCabe’s wife, a Democrat, ran a losing campaign for the state Senate in Virginia and received contributions with help from Clinton allies, or what he termed “Clinton puppets.”
Earlier this month, reports said that Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions pressured FBI Director Christopher Wray to push McCabe out, and a report in the Washington Post said that Trump, after firing former FBI director James B. Comey, asked McCabe how he voted in the 2016 election. Comey also has asserted that Trump in private conversations insisted on loyalty.
“The president wasn’t part of this decision-making process and we would refer you to the FBI where Christopher Wray serves as the director,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday. President Trump has “full confidence” in Wray, Sanders said.
McCabe ran the bureau for several months after Trump fired Comey last May, and he notably refused to go along with Trump’s assertions that the rank and file in the FBI had lost faith in the former director. During a Senate hearing, he testified that Comey still had “broad support” within the bureau and said he had “the highest respect for his considerable abilities and his integrity.”
After Wray, the next in command in the FBI is now David Bowdich, who earlier in his career was the agent in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office.
Staff writer Brian Bennett contributed to this report.
10:40 a.m.: This article was updated with additional detail.
This article was originally published at 10:10 a.m.
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