FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, a frequent target of President Donald Trump’s criticism, is leaving his position ahead of a previously planned retirement this spring, people familiar with the decision said Monday.
McCabe had been widely expected to retire upon his eligibility date, but his departure from the FBI’s No. 2 slot is effective Monday, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an internal personnel move. He is expected to retire with his pension benefits.
CBS News reported McCabe was forced to step down.
Fox News reports McCabe is taking “terminal leave” – effectively taking vacation until he reaches his planned retirement in a matter of weeks. As such, he will not be reporting to work at the FBI anymore.
Republicans have questioned McCabe’s ties to the Democratic Party, considering his wife ran as a Democrat for a Virginia Senate seat in 2015 and got financial help from a group tied to Clinton family ally Terry McAuliffe.
The FBI has said McCabe received the necessary ethics approval before his wife received the donations, and that at the time of the contributions, he was not in a supervisory role of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email use.
But that has not stopped Trump from repeatedly insinuating that McCabe, and other FBI officials, are partisan law enforcement officials harboring a bias against him:
The Washington Post last week reported that Trump, during an Oval Office meeting last spring, pressed McCabe, who was then acting FBI director, about whom he voted for in the 2016 election. McCabe, according to the outlet, told the president he didn’t vote.
McCabe’s name has surfaced in connection with several other controversies.
Many believe he is named in a confidential GOP memo alleging government surveillance abuse, along with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and ex-FBI boss James Comey.
Incidentally, the McCabe removal comes after FBI Director Christopher Wray viewed the memo Sunday on Capitol Hill.
Several Republicans also want to know what McCabe knew about anti-Trump text messages between two FBI officials, including one that seemed to reference an “insurance policy” against Trump winning the 2016 election.
Trump has repeatedly criticized McCabe: