FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, criticised by President Donald Trump and other Republicans for alleged bias against him, has stepped down, US officials confirmed.
McCabe, who served as acting Federal Bureau of Investigation chief for more than two months last year after Trump fired Director James Comey, had been expected to leave his post as the No. 2 FBI official in March.
The FBI said on Monday that David Bowdich, the No. 3 FBI official, would take over as acting deputy director, reports Reuters.
It did not comment on the circumstances surrounding McCabe’s departure.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, asked about McCabe’s departure, told reporters: “I can tell you the president wasn’t part of this decision-making process.” Sanders said Trump continued to have “full confidence” in FBI Director Christopher Wray, who was appointed by Trump to replace Comey.
McCabe had intended to stay on the job for about six more weeks when he becomes eligible for retirement, but decided to leave earlier rather than be transferred to a lower-ranking post, according to a former senior FBI official familiar with the matter.
The earlier departure came amid concerns about an upcoming Justice Department inspector general report scrutinizing the actions of McCabe and other top FBI officials during the 2016 presidential campaign, the official said.
During that period, the FBI investigated Trump campaign connections to Russia and Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was U.S. secretary of state. No charges were brought against Clinton.
McCabe began his career at the agency in 1996 as a special agent investigating organized crime.