(RNN) – FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is stepping down.
CNN reports McCabe will retire in March so he can retain full benefits. He will step aside, but use his leave until that time.
The No. 2 at the FBI is at the center of the conflict between the FBI and the White House. Pres. Donald Trump has been pressuring McCabe to quit for some time.
McCabe was praised Monday by James Comey, who levied pointed criticism at the Trump administration.
"Special Agent Andrew McCabe stood tall over the last 8 months, when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on. He served with distinction for two decades," Comey said.
He also wished "continued strength for the rest of the FBI. America needs you."
Comey was fired in May 2017 for shifting reasons, which prompted the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.
Special Agent Andrew McCabe stood tall over the last 8 months, when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on. He served with distinction for two decades. I wish Andy well. I also wish continued strength for the rest of the FBI. America needs you.— James Comey (@Comey) January 30, 2018
Since late 2017, rumors have swirled that McCabe would quit when he became fully vested. Trump mocked the rumored decision in a tweet.
The president reportedly asked McCabe who he voted for in the presidential election, and pressured him about the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails.
McCabe investigated Clinton’s use of a private email server. His wife ran for a state Senate office in Virginia and received donations from former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who has been linked to the Clintons for years.
McCabe alerted the FBI of his wife’s plans and followed protocol for conflicts of interest in investigations.
Trump’s campaign is being investigated for possible collusion with Russia.
How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2017
The FBI has been investigating whether the Trump campaign worked Russia during 2016 presidential election.
Several Trump advisers have now acknowledged having contacts with people tied to the Russian government during the campaign.
Still, Trump has repeatedly denied collusion.
Donald Trump Jr. was offered incriminating information on Hillary Clinton by a Russian prosecutor.
Michael Flynn, then the National Security adviser gave a false story about his calls with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition.
Last week, dozens of White House staff and Attorney General Jeff Sessions was questioned by the special counsel.
Another Trump campaign associate, Paul Manafort, was the first person charged in the Russia probe on Oct. 30, led by FBI Director Robert Mueller.
Manafort was charged with 12 counts of money laundering and conspiracy.
Manafort was also charged with filing false reports to conceal the fact that he was acting as an unregistered foreign agent, according to The Washington Post.
McCabe became the acting director after Trump fired then FBI Director James Comey on May 9, 2017. Once Trump appointed Christopher Wray, McCabe went back to the deputy director position.
McCabe attended Duke University and obtained a law degree from the University of St. Louis in 1993. He joined the FBI in 1996.
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