FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe steps down abruptly

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has told FBI staff he is stepping down effective Monday -- a move that surprised ev...

Posted: Jan 30, 2018 6:46 AM
Updated: Jan 30, 2018 6:46 AM

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has told FBI staff he is stepping down effective Monday -- a move that surprised even those expecting his March retirement, sources tell CNN.

McCabe was a central target of President Donald Trump's ire toward the FBI over its involvement in the investigation into potential collusion between his campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.

He was eligible to retire in March, but with his accumulated leave, he was able to step down earlier.

Trump learned about the departure Monday morning, a White House official told CNN. The President did not answer a reporter's question at the White House about McCabe's departure.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump was not part of McCabe's choice to step down and that the White House had not been part of the decision.

Various sources described McCabe's departure as a mutual decision, while others said it was the result of pressure to step down. One source briefed on the matter said McCabe announced his decision to senior executives and portrayed it as his choice. The source disputed the characterization that McCabe was removed.

But a source familiar with the matter said FBI Director Christopher Wray told McCabe he is bringing in his own team, which he would not be a part of, and that it was McCabe's decision whether to stay at the FBI or leave.

FBI Assistant Deputy Director David Bowdich has been appointed as the bureau's acting deputy director.

Nonstop pressure

Trump has kept nonstop pressure on McCabe ever since he became acting director in May, using the longtime law enforcement official as a punching bag -- both publicly and privately -- to vent his frustrations about the FBI. In December, Trump tweeted "FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!"

And in July 2017, Trump flatly asked why Attorney General Jeff Sessions had not fired McCabe yet.

"Why didn't A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got big dollars ($700,000) for his wife's political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives," Trump wrote. "Drain the Swamp!"

His issue with McCabe stems from his wife's failed run for the Virginia state Senate in 2015. The Wall Street Journal reported that Dr. Jill McCabe received six contributions totaling $467,500 from then-Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's political action committee.

In addition, campaign records show that the state Democratic Party, over which McAuliffe has great influence, made two other payments totaling $207,788 in September and October 2015. These donations all occurred before McCabe took over as deputy director of the FBI and before he would have had any oversight into the Clinton email investigation.

The story, which came out during the 2016 campaign, colored Trump's view of McCabe and led him, according to The Washington Post, to ask McCabe who he voted for in the 2016 election.

Trump, during a briefing with reporters earlier this month, denied asking that question, but went on to slam McCabe, who briefly served as Trump's acting FBI director after Trump fired James Comey in May.

"I don't think so. No. I don't think I did," Trump told reporters about asking who McCabe voted for.

McCabe, according to two Virginia campaign consultants -- one Republican, one Democratic -- with access to the Virginia campaign participation rolls, did not vote in the 2016 presidential general election but did vote in the 2016 Republican presidential primary.

Trump stands by his criticism of McCabe, Sanders said Monday, referring further questions to the FBI.

'The Russia fever'

Sessions communicated to FBI Director Christopher Wray, who was hand-picked by Trump and sworn in in August, that he needed a fresh start with his senior team at the FBI, a source familiar with the conversation has told CNN. Sessions specifically suggested McCabe and the bureau's top lawyer, James Baker, should go. Baker was reassigned late last year.

With his departure, McCabe joins a list of other top bureau officials who have stepped down in recent days as Wray assembles his own team. The departures of the FBI chief of staff and general counsel were also revealed this month.

Sanders on Monday defended the pressure the President has placed on the FBI and Justice Department over the Russia investigation, telling CNN's Jim Acosta at the White House briefing that the administration has done "everything we can to be transparent."

"The only thing the President applied pressure to is to get it resolved so you guys and everyone else can focus on the things Americans actually care about: making sure everybody gets the Russia fever out of their system once and for all," she said.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1101185

Reported Deaths: 17557
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1441632231
Lake715041238
Allen65802880
Hamilton50322484
St. Joseph48966643
Elkhart39621543
Vanderburgh34317495
Tippecanoe30336273
Johnson27293465
Hendricks25947380
Porter25171386
Madison20749447
Clark19985277
Vigo18838308
LaPorte16924261
Delaware16480297
Howard16432311
Monroe16415219
Kosciusko13976165
Hancock12899185
Bartholomew12729189
Warrick12051190
Wayne11921267
Floyd11901226
Grant11755240
Morgan10276190
Boone9706121
Noble9094122
Henry9040165
Marshall8932147
Dearborn8866100
Dubois8751139
Shelby8101129
Cass8055127
Lawrence7939184
DeKalb7638107
Jackson752693
Huntington7475110
Gibson7019118
Montgomery6930123
Harrison688298
Knox6855115
Steuben655787
Miami6497109
Whitley644860
Putnam635583
Clinton619877
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Jasper604992
Jefferson5710103
Ripley550292
Adams533781
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Scott482880
Wells4733101
White470368
Greene463899
Clay459762
Decatur4548110
Jennings441766
Fayette438494
LaGrange421290
Posey404044
Washington385455
Randolph3834107
Fountain368762
Spencer357347
Fulton356872
Starke349073
Owen347577
Sullivan345754
Orange325571
Jay321950
Rush299632
Carroll290238
Franklin287144
Perry285153
Vermillion281158
Tipton248265
Parke247030
Pike245044
Blackford218744
Pulaski206458
Newton179752
Brown174050
Crawford168129
Benton163917
Martin151719
Switzerland145612
Warren132316
Union118316
Ohio91813
Unassigned0587

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1690217

Reported Deaths: 26587
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1772171827
Cuyahoga1648472640
Hamilton1125391528
Montgomery796451395
Summit705111199
Lucas620241020
Butler56096805
Stark527941171
Lorain41276642
Warren35509412
Mahoning35270771
Lake31622495
Clermont30804363
Delaware26791182
Trumbull26782616
Licking26297336
Medina25419351
Fairfield24256287
Greene24097372
Clark21748387
Portage20807281
Richland20686340
Wood19745246
Allen18638320
Miami17074348
Columbiana16571332
Muskingum16483206
Wayne15482306
Tuscarawas14158360
Marion13116194
Erie12479198
Ashtabula12417232
Scioto12288184
Pickaway12114153
Ross11526225
Hancock11321173
Geauga10726175
Lawrence10531172
Belmont10304234
Huron9633158
Jefferson9504227
Union944075
Sandusky9106166
Seneca8752157
Knox8663170
Washington8632158
Athens828996
Darke8288180
Ashland7873149
Auglaize7794117
Shelby7369133
Defiance7243115
Crawford7129150
Brown7072115
Fulton7058112
Logan6899108
Guernsey684284
Mercer683998
Highland6659119
Madison643889
Clinton6422106
Williams635899
Preble6194140
Putnam6126120
Jackson574096
Champaign570687
Perry561179
Coshocton5576104
Ottawa555499
Morrow509364
Fayette485370
Hardin480699
Gallia465478
Pike460176
Van Wert458993
Adams4531109
Henry426978
Hocking403093
Holmes3947140
Wyandot369373
Carroll354478
Paulding320551
Meigs303459
Monroe233661
Noble218047
Morgan212138
Harrison206953
Vinton184337
Unassigned06
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