FBI deputy quits ahead of agency review

FBI deputy quits ahead of agency review

Washington, Jan 30 (Just News): The Federal Bureau of Investigation's deputy director, whom US President Donald Trump repeatedly accused of political bias, has resigned.

Andrew McCabe was pressured to quit by FBI Director Christopher Wray in advance of an inspector general report examining the agency, reports CBS News.

Mr McCabe was reportedly due to retire on 18 March.

His exit from the top law enforcement agency comes a week after a report that Mr Trump wanted him out.

An internal communication authored by Mr Wray shows Mr McCabe's early departure was the result of a forthcoming FBI inspector general report that concluded the agency must perform at the highest standards, according to CBS News.

Earlier on Monday, the New York Times reported that Mr Wray had expressed an interest in moving Mr McCabe to another job, which would have been a demotion, ahead of the inspector general report.

It is unclear when the report will be released.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Monday's daily press briefing: "This decision was not made by the White House."

"The president wasn't part of this decision making process," she added.

Why is this significant?

Mr McCabe briefly became acting FBI director last May after Mr Trump fired its previous chief, James Comey.

Mr Comey had been overseeing the bureau's investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Mr Trump eventually nominated Christopher Wray as the new FBI director, and he was confirmed by the Senate in August.
Media captionSarah Huckabee Sanders responds to McCabe's resignation

Mr Wray recently threatened to resign after being pressured by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire Mr McCabe, Washington DC news outlet Axios reported last week.

Mr McCabe, 49, who was already expected to step down in early 2018 upon becoming eligible for his pension, instead chose to step down now and is on leave ahead of his official retirement date, CBS News reports.

Later Mr Comey tweeted his support for his former deputy.