FBI's Andrew McCabe, a top Trump target, fired days before retirement

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In the course of that review, Horowitz found that McCabe had authorized two FBI officials to talk to then-Wall Street Journal reporter Devlin Barrett for a story about the case and another investigation into Clinton's family foundation.

As recently as Thursday, even as the White House said it left Mr. McCabe's fate in Attorney General Jeff Sessions's hands, officials there left little doubt where the president stood.

West, a former Republican congressman, said that if McCabe is not held accountable for his actions, it will prove that Washington, D.C., really is "the city with no consequences". Comey said Trump prodded him to publicly exonerate the president on the question of Russian collusion and encouraged him to shut down an investigation into his national security adviser.

"Why do we have to have this drama?" "The real damage is being done to the F.B.I., law enforcement and the special counsel", he said. But it comes just ahead of his planned retirement, on Sunday, and puts his ability to receive pension benefits into jeopardy. He said the president's public attacks were aimed at several targets.

In June former FBI Director James B. Comey, under questioning by Republicans before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said The Times story in February was nearly all wrong. "The OIG's focus on me and this report became a part of an unprecedented effort by the Administration, driven by the President himself, to remove me from my position, destroy my reputation, and possibly strip me of a pension that I worked 21 years to earn".

But while McCabe may be anxious about losing his pension after 22-years at the Bureau, George Washington University Law professor and Democrat Jonathan Turley says he should be more concerned about criminal charges. He oversaw investigations into both the Trump campaign and Hillary Clintons use of a private email server — and he dealt with the fallout from both.

Mr Sessions said in a statement that investigators "concluded that Mr McCabe had made an unauthorised disclosure to the news media and lacked candour - including under oath - on multiple occasions".

Some of that criticism stemmed from the fact that his wife, Jill McCabe, a Democrat, received donations for her unsuccessful 2015 Virginia state Senate campaign from Terry McAuliffe, who was then the state's governor and an ally of the Clintons.

"The F.B.I. expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity and accountability", he said.

Mr. McCabe's retirement was to take effect Sunday, but he stepped down in January almost two months before his scheduled departure.

"(Wray) called me in on a Sunday night to tell me that he had been privy to information from the IG's investigation, and then based on that he was going to move me out of my position", McCabe said, explaining that he then chose to take a leave of absence. Mr. Sessions was traveling that day and it is unclear if he participated in the meetings.

He continued: "Pursuant to Department Order 1202, and based on the report of the Inspector General, the findings of the FBI's Office of Personal Responsibility, and the recommendation of the Department's senior career official, I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately".

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