Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s deputy director who has been the target of Republican critics for more than a year, plans to retire in a few months when he becomes fully eligible for pension benefits, according to people familiar with the matter…

Within the agency, there is praise — but also some criticism — for how McCabe has handled his role. Still, he has become a lightning rod in the political storms now buffeting the bureau. Conservatives have called for heads to roll at the FBI, and McCabe is atop many of their lists. But current and former FBI officials said it would be dangerous to appease those demands.

“It would send a terrible message to move him now, but it’s also a terrible situation he’s in,’’ said one law enforcement official.