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.
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.
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.
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.
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