Dec. 24 (UPI) -- FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe plans to retire in early 2018 when he becomes eligible for a full pension, associates of the official said.
People familiar with McCabe's decision told The New York Times that McCabe, 49, who has been the subject of repeated attacks by President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans, plans to retire once be becomes eligible for his full pension benefits in March.
Trump tweeted Saturday that McCabe "is racing the clock to retire with full benefits."
McCabe, who was a close ally of former Director James Comey during his tenure, stayed on to run the agency after Comey's firing until Trump appointed new FBI Director Christopher Wray in August.
The deputy director has faced criticism from Trump and Republicans for his close connection to Comey and his role in the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was serving as secretary of state.
"Andy's in a difficult position now . . . because of the hyperpartisan political environment," John Pistole, who served as the FBI's deputy director for six years under former Director Robert Mueller III, told The Washington Post. Mueller is now serving as special counsel, spearheading the investigation into whether Trump campaign officials colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.
Pistole said McCabe "is weathering the storm."
"It's disappointing," Pistole said, "to see how the criticism of the FBI is being used to try to undermine the credibility of the Mueller investigation. I think they've figured out they can't undermine Bob's integrity, so they're just going to go after whoever they can dig up any dirt on."