FBI deputy di­rec­tor abruptly leaves post

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - NEWS - By ERIC TUCKER and SADIE GURMAN

WASH­ING­TON — FBI Deputy Di­rec­tor An­drew McCabe, a tar­get of fre­quent and ag­gres­sive crit­i­cism by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, abruptly stepped down from his po­si­tion Mon­day ahead of his planned re­tire­ment this spring.

A 22-year vet­eran of the FBI, McCabe has been pub­licly and re­peat­edly lam­basted through­out the past year by Trump, who ac­cused him of bias be­cause of his wife’s po­lit­i­cal con­nec­tions and an FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion that pro­duced no crim­i­nal charges against Hil­lary Clin­ton.

McCabe, who has had a num­ber of FBI lead­er­ship roles and been heav­ily in­volved in in­ves­ti­ga­tions into ma­jor crimes in­clud­ing the 2013 Bos­ton Marathon bomb­ing, be­comes el­i­gi­ble for re­tire­ment in a mat­ter of weeks. FBI staff learned Mon­day that McCabe was leav­ing the bu­reau’s No. 2 post ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately, ac­cord­ing to peo­ple who spoke only on con­di­tion of anonymity to dis­cuss an in­ter­nal per­son­nel move. He is ex­pected to re­tire with full pen­sion ben­e­fits.

The de­par­ture comes as FBI Di­rec­tor Christo­pher Wray makes changes to his se­nior lead­er­ship team, re­plac­ing two other top aides last week. Such changes are not un­usual when a new di­rec­tor takes charge, but they are no­table amid Trump’s pub­lic pres­sure on Wray to get rid of of­fi­cials who were con­fi­dants of James Comey, whom he fired as FBI di­rec­tor last May.

The exit comes amid mul­ti­ple on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions, in­clud­ing a Jus­tice Depart­ment watch­dog probe into the ac­tions of McCabe and other top FBI of­fi­cials dur­ing the Clin­ton email probe. In ad­di­tion, special coun­sel Robert Mueller is in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether the Trump cam­paign im­prop­erly co­or­di­nated with Rus­sia dur­ing the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion and whether Trump sought to ob­struct the in­quiry by, among other ac­tions, fir­ing Comey.

McCabe has been re­peat­edly as­sailed by Trump since fall 2016, when it was re­vealed his wife ac­cepted cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions from the po­lit­i­cal ac­tion com­mit­tee of then-Vir­ginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Demo­crat and close Clin­ton ally, dur­ing a failed state Se­nate run. That episode is among the de­ci­sions un­der re­view by the Jus­tice Depart­ment’s in­spec­tor gen­eral, which is ex­pected to com­plete its re­port soon.

The FBI has said McCabe re­ceived the nec­es­sary ethics ap­proval, and that at the time of the con­tri­bu­tions, he was not in a su­per­vi­sory role on the Clin­ton email in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The FBI’s No. 3 of­fi­cial, David Bowdich, was named act­ing deputy di­rec­tor.

As­so­ci­ated Press file photo

Then-act­ing FBI Di­rec­tor An­drew McCabe pauses dur­ing a Se­nate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee hear­ing June 7, 2017, on Capi­tol Hill in Wash­ing­ton. McCabe is leav­ing his cur­rent po­si­tion of deputy di­rec­tor ahead of a pre­vi­ously planned re­tire­ment.

WRAY

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