The Truth About FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe Stepping Down
Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe has stepped down on the heels of reports that FBI Director Christopher Wray had access to the classified memo released by House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes that details misuse of FISA surveillance warrants by the FBI during the presidential election.
McCabe was the interim director of the FBI after the firing of then-director James Comey. McCabe was eventually replaced by Wray, a Trump pick. During his time as director, he has been a central figure in the Clinton email investigation and a frequent target of Trump’s criticisms of the FBI.
Earlier this month, it was reported that after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, he met with McCabe in the Oval Office and asked him whom he had voted for in the 2016 election.
Reports state that McCabe was already set to retire early, but the timing of the move suggests more is at play. Wray was hand-picked for the FBI leadership position by Donald Trump, and the 12-hour gap between him reading the memo and McCabe stepping down seems like a clear indication that revelations from the memo necessitated his immediate removal.
Multiple sources, including Jake Gibson of Fox News and Steve Brusk of CNN, report that McCabe had been “removed”, suggesting that McCabe had been forced out of his position, possibly by the president himself.
A source familiar tells Fox News it would be accurate to say McCabe was, “Removed.” Further, I’m told this is most likely the earliest date possible for the FBI to remove him and still leave him fully eligible for his pension. #FoxNews— Jake Gibson (@JakeBGibson) January 29, 2018
From our Justice team One source said FBI Deputy Director McCabe's departure was not in the plans as of Friday. The source said McCabe was told this morning to step down. A second source described McCabe’s departure as being “removed”.— Steve Brusk (@stevebruskCNN) January 29, 2018
Donald Trump Jr. took to Twitter to connect the timing to the impending vote to release the FISA memo.
Yea right, that’s why he stepped down a day after the FBI saw the FISA memo and the day the house votes on its release. Sure. That’s it. Now the other media sheep have their talking points. Go spread the gospel.— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 29, 2018
Who do you think you’re kidding at this point? #ReleaseTheMemo https://t.co/NjJv54lStb
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reported that the White House was “not involved” in his stepping down. When asked about the constant pressure Trump has placed on the FBI and Justice Department, Sanders stated that it sounds like “multiple officials are being pressured by the White House.”
McCabe has had a long history of conflict with the Trump administration. Trump’s dislike of McCabe dates back to October 2016, when news stories revealed that McCabe’s wife had run as a Democrat for the Virginia legislature aided by nearly $500,000 in donations from the political action committee of then-Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) — a close ally of Hillary Clinton’s — and that McCabe had gone on to oversee investigations involving Clinton. Trump has since repeatedly criticized McCabe, and in January it was reported that Attorney General Sessions had been pressuring FBI Director Wray to fire McCabe. However, Wray refused and reportedly threatened to resign if McCabe was removed.
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