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FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Photo: Pete Marovich / Getty Images

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is stepping down, effective today, multiple sources familiar with the matter told NBC News. McCabe will "remain on the FBI payroll until he is eligible to retire with full benefits in mid-March," NBC reports.

There were reports last month that McCabe, 49, planned to retire in the coming months, but sources told CBS' Pat Milton that McCabe was forced out. NBC's Pete Williams notes that in addition to the distraction caused by criticism from President Trump, McCabe may be anticipating the release of an inspector general's report on how the FBI handled the Clinton email investigation.

Timing: The move comes after Axios’ Jonathan Swan scooped last week that Attorney General Jeff Sessions — at the public urging of President Donald Trump — had pressured FBI Director Christopher Wray to fire McCabe.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday that Trump "wasn't a part of the decision-making process" surrounding his departure.

What's next: Associate Deputy Director of the FBI, David Bowdich, has been appointed to Acting Deputy Director of the FBI, reports CNN, replacing McCabe.

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.