FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe (pictured) abruptly resigned on Monday after facing criticism from President Donald Trump and coming under pressure from FBI chief Christopher A. Wray to quit or face demotion, sources said.
McCabe, 49, was at the centre of the political chess game linked to the investigation into potential coordination between Trump associates and Russia in the 2016 US presidential election.
The Trump administration denied any role in McCabe’s resignation. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump was not part of the decision making process.
The White House had helped in the investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling in the election. The Trump administration wants the probe to be completed fast so that it can focus on solving nation’s problems, Sanders said.
Trump’s tweets did upset McCabe as they questioned his political affiliation and role in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she served as secretary of state. The email scandal helped Trump win the presidential race even though he was accused of sexual assault by more than a dozen women.
Trump’s tweets alleged that McCabe’s wife, a Democrat, received a lot of money in campaign donations in her failed attempt to win a seat in the Virginia state Senate in 2015.
He also reportedly asked McCabe whom he voted for in the 2016 presidential election when the two men met for the first time in the Oval Office. McCabe said he did not vote.
McCabe was made acting director of FBI after Trump fired its director James Comey in May. He may be called as a witness in the investigation into whether Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russia and the President committed obstruction of justice by firing Comey.
McCabe was a facing a difficult situation as a senior official and he stepped down with immediate effect on Monday.