FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the focus of criticism over the past year from President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress, plans to retire in 2018, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
McCabe, 49, is the No. 2 official in the FBI and had been acting director after Trump fired the former director, James Comey, in May. According to the Post, McCabe plans to retire once he becomes eligible for a full pension in March.
Shortly after the newspaper report was published, Trump retweeted his earlier contention that McCabe’s wife, Jill, who ran unsuccessfully for the Virginia Senate in 2015, had been given nearly $700,000 by allies of Hillary Clinton at a time when Andrew McCabe was involved in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.
The FBI has said McCabe did not start overseeing the Clinton investigation until his wife’s state Senate campaign was over. According to the Virginia Public Access Project, the two major donations that Jill McCabe received, totaling nearly $700,000, came from a political action committee of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat and Clinton friend, and from the Virginia Democratic Party.
Trump, who is spending the holidays at his Florida resort, said in a second tweet Saturday, “FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!”
An FBI spokesperson declined to comment.
McCabe has come under fire from Republicans over the past year because of the bureau’s investigation into the Clinton email issue as well as the probe into possible collusion between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia.
Earlier this year, the U.S. intelligence community released a report that stated Russia had meddled in the 2016 election, showing a preference for Trump over Clinton, his opponent. Russia denies meddling in the election, and Trump has denied any collusion.
Shortly after Comey’s firing, former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel of an investigation into whether any members of Trump’s campaign conspired with Russian agents during the campaign.
McCabe faced questions about that probe as well as the email issue when he testified earlier this week before three congressional committees.
“Andy’s in a difficult position now … because of the hyperpartisan political environment,” John Pistole, who held the FBI’s No. 2 job for six years under Mueller, told the Post. He said McCabe was “weathering the storm.”
Republicans have said they want answers to why Comey publicly discussed the Clinton investigation and then announced that the bureau would not seek to bring charges. Critics say the Republicans’ focus on Clinton is merely a tactic to distract from Mueller’s investigation.