US FBI No. 2 official McCabe steps down amid Trump criticism

Lucy Bush
January 30, 2018

McCabe, who served as acting Federal Bureau of Investigation chief for more than two months previous year after Trump fired agency director James Comey, had been expected to leave his post as the No. 2 FBI official in March.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that the Trump administration was not involved in McCabe's departure.

The news follows reports last week that President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions pressured FBI Director Chris Wray to fire McCabe.

There had been speculation that McCabe would step down in March, once he was eligible to receive full retirement benefits.

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Mr McCabe and fired FBI director James Comey had key roles in the agency's investigation into Mrs Clinton's emails. Wray threatened to resign if McCabe was sacked, prompting Sessions to back off, Axios and The Washington Post reported. He had served in the FBI's No. 2 role since January 2016.

Trump's firing of Comey in May 2017 as the FBI was investigating potential collusion between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russian Federation led to the Justice Department's naming of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to take over the probe.

David Bowdich, a senior Federal Bureau of Investigation official who led the agency's response to the San Bernadino terrorist attack, is expected to serve as the next deputy director, according to people familiar with the plans.

President Donald Trump did not answer a reporter's question at the White House about McCabe's departure.

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Axios reported last week that Wray threatened to resign if President Trump ordered him to fire McCabe.

Trump asked in a December tweet that how McCabe could lead the Clinton probe when his wife got donations from "Clinton Puppets".

The president was silent for a moment and then turned on McCabe, suggesting he ask his wife how it feels to be a loser - an apparent reference to a failed campaign for state office in Virginia that McCabe's wife made in 2015. "90 days to go?!".

Sanders insisted the only pressure Trump has applied in this process was meant to make sure everyone got "Russia fever out of their system" and to drive home the point "there was no collusion". But as a civil service employee, McCabe could not be fired without clear evidence of wrongdoing.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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