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Andrew McCabe resigns as Federal Bureau of Investigation deputy director


FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe - a frequent target of US President Donald Trump's ire dating back to the 2016 presidential election - is stepping down from the job, only months before the date in March when he can retire with full pension benefits.

McCabe has received blistering criticism from Donald Trump, but White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president had no part in McCabe's abrupt departure.

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

Mr McCabe and fired FBI director James Comey had key roles in the agency's investigation into Mrs Clinton's emails.

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe appears before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, June 7, 2017, in Washington. While McCabe was apparently looking at leaving this spring, his departure comes weeks ahead of schedule and during a time when he's clearly been in the crosshairs of the president. Trump tweeted. He has highlighted the fact that McCabe's wife, a Democrat, ran a losing campaign for the state Senate in Virginia and received contributions with help from Hillary Clinton allies, or what he termed "Clinton puppets".

Axios reported last week that Wray threatened to resign if President Trump ordered him to fire McCabe.




Comey was overseeing the bureau's investigation into alleged Russian interference in that year's presidential election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

A day after Trump fired Comey, he called McCabe to vent and ask why the ex-FBI director got to take a government-funded plane from Los Angeles to Washington.

Sanders insisted the only pressure Trump has applied in this process was meant to make sure everyone got "Russia fever out of their system" and to drive home the point "there was no collusion". "90 days to go?!"

An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment on McCabe. But McCabe is a civil service employee who can not be fired without clear evidence of wrongdoing.

Republicans charge that an anti-Trump bias exists in the bureau's ranks, citing the campaign donations to McCabe's wife and, more recently, the release of hundreds of text messages between FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page. In those texts, they called Trump an "idiot" and a "loathsome human".

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