FBI staff learned Monday that McCabe was leaving the bureau’s No. 2 post effective immediately, according to people who spoke only on condition of anonymity to discuss an internal personnel move. He is expected to retire with full pension benefits.
The departure comes as FBI Director Christopher Wray makes changes to his senior leadership team, replacing two other top aides last week. Such changes are not unusual when a new director takes charge, but they are notable amid Trump’s public pressure on Wray to get rid of officials who were confidants of James Comey, whom he fired as FBI director last May.
In a message Monday to FBI employees, Wray said McCabe would be retiring on March 18 and denied that the move stemmed from political pressure.
“I will not be swayed by political or other pressure in my decision-making,” Wray wrote.
McCabe has been repeatedly assailed by Trump since the fall of 2016, when it was revealed that his wife had accepted campaign contributions from the political action committee of then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat and close Clinton ally, during a failed state Senate run. That episode is among the decisions under review by the Justice Department’s inspector general, which is expected to complete its report soon.