The political organization of Virginia Governor McAuliffe, an important ally and one of the best friends of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, gave more than $675,000 to the 2015 Virginia state Senate campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe, the spouse of an FBI official who oversaw Clinton’s email investigation.
Jill McCabe is married to Andrew McCabe, now the deputy director of the FBI.
The Virginia governor’s office was full of denials about the connection on Sunday.
“Any insinuation that his support” for state Senate candidate Dr. Jill McCabe, wife of FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, “was tied to anything other than his desire to elect candidates who would help pass his agenda is ridiculous,” a spokesman for the governor told the Wall Street Journal.
According to Fox News , at the time of the campaign and of McAuliffe’s support, McCabe was associate deputy director. He later was promoted to deputy after the campaign ended, assuming an oversight role in the Clinton email investigation.
According to the Journal, McCabe sought ethics guidance from the FBI and followed it, but his supervision of the email case was not seen as a potential conflict since Jill McCabe’s campaign was over and McAuliffe wasn’t directly involved in the email case.
The FBI’s “Ethics and Integrity Program” manual makes clear McCabe would have had to flag the connections to senior management, and the final decision would come in writing.
In the section prohibiting employees from participating in criminal investigations in certain cases where there’s a personal or political relationship, the manual says an exception would be if: “The employee’s participation would not create an appearance of a conflict of interest to affect the public perception of the integrity of the investigation or prosecution.”
McAuliffe and other state figures reportedly recruited Dr. McCabe to run in the first place, but a spokesman pushed back on any suggestion of impropriety.
McAuliffe “supported Jill McCabe because he believed she would be a good state senator. This is a customary practice for Virginia governors… Any insinuation that his support was tied to anything other than his desire to elect candidates who would help pass his agenda is ridiculous,” the spokesman told the Journal.
The FBI also said Andrew McCabe “played no role, attended no events, and did not participate in fundraising or support of any kind.”
McCabe continues to be involved in the email investigation aftermath. He was recently asked to brief House oversight committee members on allegations – contained in newly released FBI files – that a State Department official offered a “quid pro quo” with the bureau in a bid to un-classify a particular server email.
The revelations in the Wall Street Journal report could dovetail with Donald Trump’s persistent claims that the Justice Department and FBI investigation into Clinton’s email use was compromised. Trump repeatedly has complained about Attorney General Loretta Lynch meeting with Bill Clinton on a Phoenix tarmac days before the FBI announced no charges in its Clinton investigation.
He tweeted out the Wall Street Journal story Sunday night.
'Clinton Ally Aided Campaign of FBI Official’s Wife' https://t.co/U0w99gfyKE
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2016
According to the same report, the PAC and Virginia Democratic Party money amounted to more than a third of Dr. McCabe’s campaign funds. She also reportedly was the third-largest recipient of the governor’s Common Good VA funds.