Will officially retire mid-March
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe announced Monday he will be on leave until he officially retires in March.
From NBC News:
McCabe will remain on the FBI payroll until he is eligible to retire with full benefits in mid-March, the sources said.
One source familiar said McCabe was exercising his retirement eligibility and characterized his decision as “stepping aside.”
McCabe has been at the center of ongoing tensions between the White House and the FBI and has reportedly been under pressure to quit from President Donald Trump, whose campaign is being investigated for possible collusion with Russia.
Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that after Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey, he met with McCabe in the Oval Office and asked him whom he voted for in the 2016 election.
Trump, the officials told The Post, also vented his anger at McCabe over hundreds of thousand dollars in donations that his wife, a Democrat, received for her failed 2015 Virginia state Senate bid from a political action committee controlled by a close friend of Hillary Clinton.
A long-time career servant, McCabe had served at the FBI since 1996 under former directors Robert Mueller and Comey.
Trump was asked on Monday whether he knew McCabe was stepping aside and the president did not answer.
But is McCabe departing the bureau voluntarily? All signs point to probably not.
According to an expanded report by Fox News, McCabe was allegedly involved in one too many controveries, ultimately leading to early retirement.
Most notably, McCabe was reportedly mentioned in the surveillance memo House GOPers are hoping to make public.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said last week that his chief of staff, James Rybicki, was leaving the bureau. Department of Justice officials also told Fox News that Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia who is also the acting head of the DOJ’s National Security division, has been selected to step in as the FBI’s next general counsel. James Baker, who had served as general counsel, was reassigned late last year.
McCabe’s name has surfaced in connection with several other controversies.
The Daily Beast reported that a GOP memo alleging government surveillance abuse named McCabe, along with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and ex-FBI boss James Comey.
Incidentally, the McCabe removal comes after Wray viewed the memo Sunday on Capitol Hill, as reported by Fox News’ Catherine Herridge. The removal also comes ahead of a DOJ inspector general report regarding the handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe.
Several Republicans also want to know what McCabe knew about anti-Trump text messages between two bureau officials, including one that seemed to reference an “insurance policy” against Trump winning the 2016 election.
“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office – that there’s no way he gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” Peter Strzok texted on Aug. 15, 2016. “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
Some lawmakers think “Andy” was a reference to McCabe.
And this seems to add credence to the speculation:
We r told that Mr. Wray found something concerning in pending IG report and he was going to move McCabe into another job, which was effectively a demotion. Instead, McCabe decided to leave the FBI. https://t.co/ebZrnf9w2z
— Adam Goldman (@adamgoldmanNYT) January 29, 2018
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