DHAKA: The deputy director of the FBI is stepping down – a week after it was reported that President Donald Trump was lobbying for his ouster, reports The Independent.
Andrew McCabe, who had been under fire from Republicans in recent months over perceived partisanship and bias, had indicated that he planned on stepping down as recently as December.
Just last week, Trump reportedly encouraged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to put pressure on FBI Director Christopher Wray to fire McCabe. Wray had reportedly been pressuring McCabe to do just that, citing an upcoming inspector general report that examines the bureau's many investigations in 2016.
McCabe will remain on the FBI payroll until mid-March, sources told NBC News, when he will be eligible to retire with full benefits.
The movement in the FBI follows roughly a month after McCabe was thrashed by Trump on Twitter, and also privately during a meeting in the Oval Office.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Monday that Mr Trump did not play a part in the decisions surrounding McCabe's departure, and said that Trump stands by his past statements about the departing deputy director.
The Washington Post reported earlier this month that, when Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey last year, Trump met with McCabe in the Oval and the President asked the FBI’s second in command who he had voted for in 2016.
During that meeting, Trump also reportedly vented frustration with the fact that McCabe’s wife, a Democrat, had received donations during her failed 2015 Virginia state Senate race from a political action committee run by a close ally to Hillary Clinton, Trump’s 2016 opponent. Trump aired those grievances once again on Twitter in December.
Comey’s firing led to the appointment of special counsellor Robert Mueller, whose team is investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and any ties the Trump campaign may have had with Moscow.
The New York Times reports that Trump also tried to fire Mueller last year, not long after he fired Comey. He was stopped at the time by White House counsel Don McGahn.
BDST: 0952 HRS, JAN 30, 2018