Advised of possible conflict of interest between Jill McCabe candidacy and Clinton email investigation, Comey responded that he “has no issue with it”
Dep. Dir. McCabe used official FBI email to promote wife’s candidacy: ‘Check her out on Facebook as Dr. Jill McCabe for Senate.’
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released 79 pages of Justice Department documents concerning ethics issues related to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s involvement with his wife’s political campaign. The documents include an email showing Mrs. McCabe was recruited for a Virginia state senate race in February 2015 by then-Virginia Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam’s office.
The news that Clinton used a private email server broke five days later, on March 2, 2015. Five days after that, former Clinton Foundation board member and Democrat party fundraiser, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, met with the McCabes. She announced her candidacy on March 12. Soon afterward, Clinton/McAuliffe-aligned political groups donated nearly $700,000 (40% of the campaign’s total funds) to McCabe’s wife for her campaign.
Judicial Watch obtained the documents through a July 24, 2017, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the Justice Department failed to respond to an October 24, 2016, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:17-cv-01494)). Judicial Watch seeks:
- All records of communication between FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and other FBI or Department of Justice officials regarding ethical issues concerning the involvement of Andrew McCabe and/or his wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, in political campaigns;
- All records related to ethical guidance concerning political activities provided to Deputy Director McCabe by FBI and/or DOJ officials or elements.
An October 23, 2016, email shows McCabe running the response effort to a Wall Street Journal article that was published that day, titled “Clinton Ally Aided Campaign of FBI Official’s Wife.” McCabe provides Michael Kortan, the assistant director of Public Affairs, his version of a timeline of events surrounding the Clinton investigation and his wife’s campaign. McCabe said he contacted then-FBI Chief of Staff Chuck Roseburg about Jill McCabe’s candidacy and was told that “the D [Comey] has no issue with it.” (Judicial Watch earlier this month released documents showing that McCabe finally did recuse himself from the Clinton investigation only a week before last year’s presidential election.)
Internally, the Wall Street Journal article started a flurry of emails among Mrs. McCabe’s campaign, Kortan, Director McCabe, and the FBI’s General Counsel. Part of that exchange is an email from McCabe to someone in the General Counsel’s Office: “Sucks pretty much. Buckle in. It’s going to get rough.” The colleague responds, “I know. It’s awful. I shouldn’t be shocked by now, but I really am appalled.” McCabe also forwarded the article to Comey who responded, “Copy.”
On October 24, 2016, a memo was sent to all Special Agents in Charge, Assistant Directors, Executive Directors and the General Counsel’s Office regarding the Wall Street Journal article discussing campaign activities concerning Mrs. McCabe. Kortan suggested that questions could be referred to his office and he attached an “Overview of Deputy Director McCabe’s Recusal Related To Dr. McCabe’s Campaign for Political Office.” The Overview itself was previously reported by Judicial Watch.
The documents also show repeated use of the official FBI email system in connection with Mrs. McCabe’s political campaign. For example:
Too busy violating the Hatch Act to properly investigate Hillary so lets just make something up and declare her guilty but no trial, no accountability.