Donald Trump was surprised and angered by the Justice Department’s decision not to charge Andrew McCabe with crimes, but the president is wary of acting against the former deputy FBI director out of concern he might push Attorney General William Barr to resign, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Justice Department gave the White House no advance notice of its decision on McCabe, meaning Trump found out along with the public when it was announced on Tuesday, three of the people said. That created fresh point of potential tension between Trump and Barr, who has publicly criticized Trump’s tweets about criminal cases DOJ is pursuing and has privately told associates he may quit.
The president is weighing his options to respond to the Justice Department’s non-prosecution decision on McCabe, but it isn’t clear he can do anything, the people said. He is aware that he should proceed delicately, given Barr’s position, they said.