Can you say corruption? A political organization of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a very close buddy of the Clintons, gave nearly $500,000 to the election campaign of the wife of an official at the FBI who later helped oversee the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email use. If that isn’t a conflict of interest, than we don’t know what is.
By Devlin Barrett
The political organization of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, an influential Democrat with longstanding ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, gave nearly $500,000 to the election campaign of the wife of an official at the Federal Bureau of Investigation who later helped oversee the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email use.
Campaign finance records show Mr. McAuliffe’s political-action committee donated $467,500 to the 2015 state Senate campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe, who is married to Andrew McCabe, now the deputy director of the FBI.
The Virginia Democratic Party, over which Mr. McAuliffe exerts considerable control, donated an additional $207,788 worth of support to Dr. McCabe’s campaign in the form of mailers, according to the records. That adds up to slightly more than $675,000 to her candidacy from entities either directly under Mr. McAuliffe’s control or strongly influenced by him. The figure represents more than a third of all the campaign funds Dr. McCabe raised in the effort.
Mr. McAuliffe and other state party leaders recruited Dr. McCabe to run, according to party officials. She lost the election to incumbent Republican Dick Black.
A spokesman for the governor said he “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.”
Among political candidates that year, Dr. McCabe was the third-largest recipient of funds from Common Good VA, the governor’s PAC, according to campaign finance records. Dan Gecker received $781,500 from the PAC and $214,456 from the state party for a campaign that raised $2.9 million, according to records; and Jeremy McPike received $803,500 from the PAC and $535,162 from the state party, raising more $3.8 million that year for his candidacy.
The governor could recall only one meeting with Mr. McCabe—when he and other state Democrats met with the couple on March 7, 2015, to urge Dr. McCabe to run, according to the spokesman.
The FBI said in a statement that during his wife’s campaign Mr. McCabe “played no role, attended no events, and did not participate in fundraising or support of any kind. Months after the completion of her campaign, then-Associate Deputy Director McCabe was promoted to Deputy, where, in that position, he assumed for the first time, an oversight role in the investigation into Secretary Clinton’s emails.”
FBI officials said that after that meeting with the governor in Richmond on March 7, Mr. McCabe sought ethics advice from the bureau and followed it, avoiding involvement with public corruption cases in Virginia, and avoiding any campaign activity or events.
Mr. McCabe’s supervision of the Clinton email case in 2016 wasn’t seen as a conflict or an ethics issue because his wife’s campaign was over by then and Mr. McAuliffe wasn’t part of the email probe, officials said.