Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s former chief strategist, will be interviewed by investigators for the special counsel rather than go in front of a grand jury.
White House officials viewed it as a sign the special counsel’s inquiry was nearly over. But it touched off discussions about the perils of the president sitting for an interview.
The first congressional criminal referral in connection with Russian meddling targeted a former British spy, not anyone accused of conspiracy.
The highly unusual lawsuit says the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, was given an overly broad mandate and needs to be reined in.
A campaign to discredit the F.B.I. and the special counsel investigating President Trump is growing more heated, splitting the Republican Party.
Mr. McCabe’s plans to leave early next year should take some of the pressure off the new director, who has been criticized by President Trump for not replacing top leadership fast enough.