FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has reportedly been forced to step down ahead of his planned retirement date.
McCabe, 49, is currently on leave and will officially retire in March, CBS News reported.
The deputy director had come under increased scrutiny following the release of text messages last month between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
BREAKING: AP sources: FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe leaving post early ahead of planned retirement.
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 29, 2018
In the texts, Strzok described Trump during the 2016 campaign as a “loathsome human” and an “idiot,” and found the prospect of him being president “terrifying.”
Page, Strzok’s mistress, texted him, “There is no way (Trump) gets elected.”
Strzok then replied, “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office … that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk.”
“It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
“Andy” apparently referred to McCabe.
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is retiring from the FBI, CBS News' Pat Milton has confirmed. A source familiar with the matter confirms that McCabe was forced to step down. He is currently on leave and will official retire in March. https://t.co/fgAFw9CrEX pic.twitter.com/fH9BgSlK9m
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 29, 2018
NBC News reported that McCabe has been with the bureau since 1996, serving under former Directors Robert Mueller and James Comey.
According to NBC, last week, White House spokesman Raj Shah fanned reports of pressure from the White House to fire McCabe, saying in a statement that Trump “believes politically motivated senior leaders” of the FBI “have tainted the agency’s reputation for unbiased pursuit of justice.”
A new director will be appointed to “clean up the misconduct at the highest levels of the FBI.”
Following the release of the original batch of the Strzok/Page texts last month, Trump tweeted that McCabe was trying to hold on until he could retire with full benefits.
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2017
In addition to being implicated in the texts as possessing an anti-Trump bias, Republicans have pointed to McCabe’s wife Jill being connected with Hillary Clinton through a nearly $500,000 campaign donation she received in 2015 from Clinton ally Democrat Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. (For more from the author of “FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe Stepping Down” please click HERE)