FBI deputy director quits after Trump criticism

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s deputy director, whom US President Donald Trump accused of political bias, has resigned.

Andrew McCabe was forced to step down ahead of his official retirement date in March, reports CBS News.

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

It was also reported last week that the president had asked Mr McCabe during an Oval Office meeting whom he voted for.

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.

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

Why did Trump criticise McCabe?

The Republican president has previously criticised Mr McCabe because his wife, Dr Jill McCabe, ran as a Democrat for a Senate seat in Virginia.

Her campaign received $675,000 in donations from the Virginia Democratic Party and a political funding committee aligned with Hillary Clinton, Mr Trump’s 2016 election rival.

Mr Trump has railed against Mr McCabe and his wife on Twitter, calling the FBI chief a “Comey friend”.

Last July he tweeted: “Problem is that the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!”

The Washington Post reported last week that Mr McCabe was disturbed by a question he was asked by the president during a get-to-know-you Oval Office meeting.

Mr Trump had reportedly asked Mr McCabe who he voted for in the 2016 US presidential election, according to current and former officials in the report.

Mr McCabe said he told the president that he did not vote.

The president has questioned how Mr McCabe could have led the FBI investigation into Mrs Clinton’s use of a private email server when his wife received donations from “Clinton Puppets”.

Meanwhile, Republican-led congressional committees have launched inquiries into whether the FBI botched its Clinton investigation and showed favouritism towards her.

Democrats have said those investigations are attempts to distract from US Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Mr Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia.

 

Source: BBC

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