WASHINGTON, January 26, 2018: FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was expected to retire in the coming weeks is unexpectedly stepping down. Characterizes as the Chief Operating Officer of the FBI, and a part of former director James Coomey’s skinny inner circle, McCabe was at the center of all the big decisions made by the FBI, including the exoneration memo of Hillary Clinton that has the FBI in meters deep of hot water.
Sources report that McCabe will remain on the FBI payroll until he is eligible to retire with full benefits in mid-March, saying McCabe was exercising his retirement eligibility. This conveniently occurred just before the anticipated release of the memo outlining FBI malfeasance in their surveillance of candidate Trump.
A career civil servant, McCabe was made deputy director in 2016. He has been a frequent target of Republicans, who allege systemic bias against President Trump at the top tiers of the bureau.
McCabe briefly ran the bureau after Trump fired former Director James Comey. He was then succeeded by current director Chris Wray.
Conservatives have been suspicious of McCabe because he oversaw the controversial investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server. The GOP has accused him of a conflict of interest, citing his wife’s receipt of over $500,000 in political donations from Terry McAuliffe, Virginia’s governor at the time and a staunch Clinton supporter and bundler. Many called for McCabe to recuse himself from the email case, which he did just one-week before the 2017 election.
Andrew McCabe and Russia
In Media Madness: Donald Trump, the Press, and the War over the Truth (Howard Kurtz) outlines how the FBI, and McCabe, may have been complicit in spreading the Russia narrative to liberal-friendly journalist and #NeverTrumpers like Senator John McCain.
According to Mollie Hemingway, author of McCabe Initiated White House Meeting That Led To Leak giving insight into how the Russian narrative reached its levels of hysteria.
The story was yet another one of those anonymous “bombshells” you’ve heard so much about during the Trump era. It was headlined “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence” and was sourced to not one, not two, not three, but four “current and former American officials.” It was just like every other similar story Americans have read or seen in the past year — no indication that the three reporters had verified, much less seen, the underlying evidence, but lots of threatening language insinuating treasonous collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, all sourced to high-ranking but anonymous officials.
Trump has publicly taken aim at McCabe, whose office first arranged the FBI’s interview with then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, leading to Flynn being fired after 24 days on the job.
Andrew McCabe and Clinton Investigation
In July 2017, President Trump was calling for McCabe’s ouster, demanding,
“Why didn’t A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation?”
McCabe had previously indicated his intention to retire when he became eligible for pension benefits in early March. President Trump characterizes the move as “racing the clock to retire with full benefits.”
How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2017
Since he is, or was a civil servant, clear evidence of wrongdoing would have been necessary before McCabe could be fired. As it currently stands, McCabe will be using accumulated vacation and other leave to step down now, while still retaining his official retirement date and benefits.
While McCabe did recuse himself from state corruption cases in Virginia following his wife’s 2015 candidacy, FBI officials did not demand he step back from the Clinton investigation, despite their political support of Mrs. McCage.
Srtzok has disparaged political figures of both parties in the texts, saving the worst for the President, whom he called an “idiot.” The agent was removed from Mueller’s team earlier this year.
Release the Memo
Today, Republicans are seeking to make public a controversial memo put together by Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) alleging surveillance abuses at the Department of Justice. McCabe is reportedly mentioned by name in the document and speculation is that his stepping out of public view now is in anticipation of that release.
David Bowditch, the No. 3 official in charge of the FBI, is expected to be promoted to fill McCabe’s position.