News and Commentary

FLASHBACK: Acting FBI Director Failed To Disclose Wife’s Financial Connection To Hillary Ally

Andrew McCabe, currently the acting director of the FBI following President Trump’s firing of former director James Comey, failed to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions his wife received from Hillary Clinton ally and confidant Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe in 2015. McAuliffe encouraged Dr. Jill McCabe to run for office just days after stories broke revealing that Clinton had used a private email server. By the end of McCabe’s failed campaign, she had received $467,500 from a PAC directed by McAulliffe and another $292,500 from a second Democratic PAC, all of which McCabe chose not to reveal in his financial disclosure form.

McCabe has come under the spotlight once again now that he is heading up the bureau that is currently investigating the role Russia played in the 2016 election, which includes any potential connection to Trump and his allies. Fox News first reported McCabe’s decision not to disclose the massive infusion of contributions to his wife’s campaign from McAuliffe back in March. Though the Office of Government Ethics says McCabe’s decision to omit the hundreds of thousands of dollars is perfectly acceptable under current regulations, the potential conflict of interest has raised eyebrows.

Here’s what Fox News reported in March:

The records, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, show FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe left the box blank for wife Dr. Jill McCabe’s salary, as a doctor with Commonwealth Emergency Physicians. And there is no documentation of the hundreds of thousands of campaign funds she received in her unsuccessful 2015 Virginia state Senate race.

As first reported by The Wall Street Journal, Clinton confidant and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe urged McCabe’s wife to run for statewide office shortly after news reports were published that Hillary Clinton used a private email server and address for all her government business while serving as secretary of State.

For the reporting period of October through November 2015, McCabe’s campaign filings show she received $467,500 from Common Good VA, a political action committee controlled by McAuliffe, as well as an additional $292,500 from a second Democratic PAC.

Fox News underscores that McCabe filed his “Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Report” (OGE Form 278e) just three days after Comey’s infamous press conference in which he detailed all the ways Clinton had been grossly negligent in her handling of classified material but then announced that he was not recommending criminal charges. McCabe had been “at the center” of the FBI’s investigation into Clinton.

The FBI says McCabe did not have an “oversight role” as associate deputy director (the No. 3 position in the bureau), which he held around the time the investigation began; however, as Sen. Chuck Grassley argued, that doesn’t mean he did not potentially influence the investigation. McCabe was promoted to the No. 2 position in 2016.

Fox reached out to the FBI for an explanation for McCabe’s lack of disclosure and and was told that his actions were “in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.” Following the publication of the original article, an FBI spokesman give Fox a more complete response:

“The rules instructing filers how to complete the OGE 278e form are published by the independent Office of Government Ethics (OGE) in a document titled ‘The Public Financial Disclosure Form (July 2016).’ The form does not require that an employee spouse’s salary be disclosed; only the employer name and type of income required. Nor does the form require or contain a line for campaign contributions, which are not considered income. Rules governing campaign donations are overseen by the Federal Election Commission.

“Each form submitted by an FBI employee to the OGE is certified by FBI’s chief ethics officer, who heads the Office of Integrity and Compliance. Mr. McCabe consulted with this office upon his wife’s decision to run for political office.”

The man who filed the original FOIA requests, retired FBI agent Jeff Danik slammed the “convenient loopholes” of the policy. “If it’s not required, then why is there a spot on the form for spouse’s income?” he asked. “Isn’t it particularly convenient that loopholes in the ethics law are used to eliminate reporting hundreds of thousands of donated dollars benefiting the spouse of one of the most powerful FBI executives, while at the same time those laws demand that every dime in earnings on a minor stock account be disclosed? That hardly seems transparent.”

In front of Congress on Thursday, McCabe stressed that President Trump would not be able to influence the FBI’s investigations. Asked by Sen. Marco Rubio if “the dismissal of Mr. Comey in any way impeded, interrupted, stopped or negatively impacted any of the work, any investigation or ongoing projects at the Federal Bureau of Investigations,” McCabe said not a chance.

“As you know Senator, the work of the men and women of the FBI continues despite any changes in circumstance, any decisions,” said McCabe. “So there has been no effort to impede our investigation to date. Simply put, sir, you cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people and upholding the constitution.”

Watch below: