BREAKING: FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is stepping down from the FBI
Is this pro-forma, or was he pushed? FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is stepping down from the FBI. And despite initial reports, some analysis and on Twitter are using the same term: a “slow motion Saturday Night Massacre.” Is forcing out Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein soon in the cards?
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is stepping down from the FBI, CBS News’ Pat Milton has confirmed. According to Milton, a source familiar with the matter confirmed that McCabe was urged to step down. However, sources at the FBI said that this was largely his decision, CBS News’ Andres Triay reports. He is currently on what’s known as “terminal leave,” that is, McCabe had accumulated enough leave time to depart the FBI now. His official retirement is in March.
The White House had no comment on the matter, although White House press secretary told reporters Monday that “the president wasn’t part of this decision-making process.”
McCabe was under considerable scrutiny from Republicans, as special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling and any ties to Trump associates continued. McCabe took temporary charge of the FBI after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey earlier this year, and some skeptics viewed McCabe as too close to his former boss.
After the president fired Comey, he asked McCabe, who was then the acting FBI director, whom he voted for in the 2016 presidential election. Mr. Trump also expressed his anger with McCabe over his wife’s ties to the Clinton family during the same meeting in May, the Washington Post reported last week.
Also last week, Axios reported that the FBI director, Christopher Wray, threatened to resign after he was pressured by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire McCabe. President Trump has denied that Wray threatened to resign.
Andrew G. McCabe has stepped down as the F.B.I.’s deputy director, a move that was widely expected as he has repeatedly come under fire from Republicans in Congress and from President Trump.
Mr. McCabe made his intentions known to colleagues on Monday, an American official said. He will immediately go on leave and plans to retire when he becomes eligible in mid-March.
By appointing Mr. McCabe to the F.B.I.’s second-highest position in 2016, the director at the time, James B. Comey, was seen as valuing intellect and management over experience making cases. Mr. McCabe, a graduate of Duke and of Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, quickly ascended the bureau’s ranks, sometimes rankling the workaday agents who believed he did not pay his dues in the field.
Mr. McCabe’s supporters, though, regarded him as a new model for the F.B.I., which had transformed from a traditional law-and-order agency to a complicated intelligence-gathering operation.
It sure looks like Trump forced deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe out of his job: https://t.co/4ESUiXpmdh
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) January 29, 2018
This is the problem. Trump has been an incremental Saturday Night Massacre from Day One. He just slices away at the body politics, our cultural norms, our legal institutions and media, the rule of law, day by day, inch by inch, and most with the ability to stop him shrug. https://t.co/ncTJX0utWP
— John Aravosis (@aravosis) January 29, 2018
BREAKING: All indications are that Trump—via agents in Congress—has forced the retirement of a key witness against him in an Obstruction case that could lead to impeachment. Worse, it's part of a coordinated, illegal effort to intimidate, punish, and discredit adverse witnesses. pic.twitter.com/OvJYacWmSQ
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) January 29, 2018
The great irony of the purging McCabe by @POTUS and his minions is that they now have thoroughly politicized the FBI, neutered the director and called into question the agency’s independence in the future.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) 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
PS2/ McCabe *can* still testify against Trump, and *will* should Trump face impeachment.
Trump's plan is to tarnish McCabe's value as a witness by being able to say he left the FBI due to pro-Clinton, anti-Trump bias. Wray was—until today—blocking that. Then something happened.
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) January 29, 2018
UPDATE: It is now being reported that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was actually "REMOVED" from his duties. This signals that Trump and/or the GOP was behind this move. This is a disgrace! He was one of the witnesses that could corroborate Comey's testimony!
— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) January 29, 2018
Republican Hill staffer just told me Trump is thrilled about the removal of FBI Deputy Director McCabe. Said Trump & senior staff think it will allow him to fire Rod Rosenstein & Robert Mueller, then end the Russia probe. Only reaffirms the fact Congress needs to #ProtectMueller.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) January 29, 2018