- FBI Director Christopher Wray reportedly threatened to resign after being pressured by Attorney General Sessions to fire deputy director Andrew McCabe.
- White House counsel Don McGahn, who learned from Sessions how upset Wray was over the issue, told Sessions that the matter wasn’t worth pursuing.
FBI Director Christopher Wray reportedly threatened to resign after being pressured by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire deputy director Andrew McCabe, according three sources cited in an Axios report Monday.
The report follows news of Sessions’ pressure on Wray to oust McCabe and former general counsel James Baker in order to make way for a “fresh start” at the FBI.
White House counsel Don McGahn, who learned from Sessions how upset Wray was, told Sessions that the matter wasn’t worth pursuing, according to Axios.
McCabe, who became the acting FBI director after Trump fired the former FBI director James Comey, drew ire from President Donald Trump as the Trump-Russia investigation gained traction with the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.
“Problem is that the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!” Trump tweeted last July, referring to the FBI’s investigation into former Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
“Why didn’t A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got … big dollars ($700,000) for his wife’s political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives,” Trump continued the next day on Twitter. “Drain the Swamp!”
McCabe’s wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, did not receive money from Hillary Clinton, as Trump claimed. During an unsuccessful run for Senate in Virginia, her campaign received $675,000 from the Virginia Democratic Party and a super PAC operated by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who is a Hillary Clinton supporter. McCabe received no money from Clinton or her family.
A resignation from Wray would have created a political nightmare for the White House, which has already been under public scrutiny since Trump fired Comey. The Trump administration has faced criticism for what has been seen as repeated attempts to derail the Russia investigation.
McCabe has previously told the FBI that he was planning to retire.
Sonam Sheth contributed reporting.