McCabe’s departure has been expected for some time, though the exact date was uncertain. The Washington Post reported in December that he planned to retire in March . At that time, people close to McCabe said he would probably use accrued vacation time to get him to the retirement date.
A person close to the matter confirmed that McCabe will still formally retire in March, but is leaving the deputy director position now, and plans to use leave time to fill out his remaining time at the FBI.
Trump’s dislike of McCabe dates back to October 2016, when news stories revealed McCabe’s wife had run as a Democrat for the Virginia state legislature, aided with nearly $500,000 in donations from the political action committee of then-Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a close ally of Hillary Clinton, and that McCabe had gone on to oversee probes involving Clinton.
In recent months, McCabe has been harshly criticized by congressional Republicans who challenge the FBI’s rationale for opening the Russia probe back in July 2016.
McCabe himself was a registered Republican as recently as 2016, when he voted in the Republican primary election in Virginia, CNN reported.
McCabe’s retirement plans first became known in December, after the deputy director sat for closed-door interviews before three congressional committees that Democrats described as poisonously partisan, with Republicans following Trump’s lead in attacking McCabe.