Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe announced his resignation Monday afternoon, but he will remain on the FBI payroll and continue to receive benefits until mid-March when he is eligible to retire.
This decision follows the Washington Post report from earlier this month which revealed that President Trump asked McCabe who he voted for the 2016 election after the firing of FBI Director James Comey.
When asked Monday whether McCabe was stepping down, President Trump did not answer.
There have been rumors about McCabe’s retirement floating around last week, after White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement that the president “believes politically motivated senior leaders” at the FBI “have tainted the agency’s reputation for unbiased pursuit of justice.”
President Trump has also frequently been critical of McCabe on Twitter, as it was McCabe’s office that first arranged for former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn to testify in front of the FBI.
McCabe has been with the FBI for over 20 years, serving under former directors Robert Mueller and James Comey.
Critics of Trump began weighing in on McCabe’s decision moments media outlets started releasing information on the story. Many believe that President Trump’s comments about the FBI are an attempt to distract from Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russia investigation.
“Bogus attacks on the FBI and DOJ to distract attention from a legitimate criminal inquiry does long term, unnecessary damage to these foundations of our government,” former Attorney General Eric Holder tweeted.
McCabe’s resignation also comes in the middle of a debate on the House Intelligence Committee concerning a memo about FBI surveillance that could potentially incriminate Robert Mueller. Republicans believe the memo proves the FBI abused its power and want to release the document, while Democrats maintain that the memo is another distraction tactic.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders commented on McCabe’s resignation at a press conference Monday afternoon.