Documents recently released by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch show that while current FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe recused himself from the investigation of Hillary Clinton, he didn’t do so until days before November’s election. The information was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI that sought records related to McCabe’s involvement with the state Senate campaign of his wife, Dr. Jill McCabe.
McCabe was the Assistant Director in Charge of the Washington Field Office when the probe was going on, and therefore controlled resources for the investigation. While the investigation was still underway, in February 2016, McCabe became Deputy Director of the Bureau, thus overseeing the whole operation.
The Clinton investigation officially began in July 2015, but Clinton’s private email server became public knowledge that March. Days after that news got out, Jill McCabe was approached by Clinton associate Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe about running for office and Dr. McCabe announced her candidacy less than a week later. McAuliffe raised nearly $700,000 for the campaign.
According to a document titled, “Protocol regarding Potential Conflicts of Interest,” days before his wife’s announcement, Andrew McCabe asked about how her candidacy might effect his work, and to what extent he could or could not participate in her campaign. According to Judicial Watch, that document provided advice for how McCabe should proceed, but did not recommend any limitations on his involvement in the Clinton investigation, despite McAuliffe’s ties to Clinton.
An internal memo, “Overview of Deputy Director McCabe’s Recusal Related To Dr. McCabe’s Campaign for Political Office,” also addressed McCabe’s potential conflicts, including the Clinton investigation. The same document showed that FBI officials had a set answer to questions about McCabe and his wife’s campaign, and that was to say that he did not play any role, attend events, or help support the campaign at all. Despite this, a photograph surfaced of McCabe at a campaign event, and days before the election, a social media page of Dr. McCabe’s showed an image of Andrew with a sign saying, “I am voting for Jill because she is the best wife ever.”
“The FBI is compromised. Mr. McCabe should have been nowhere near the Hillary Clinton investigations,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “That he saw fit to recuse himself only days before the election further demonstrates the FBI’s Clinton email investigation was a sham. No wonder it took a year and a federal lawsuit to get these records. It is well past time for the Justice Department to reopen the Clinton email investigation.”
LawNewz.com reached out to the FBI for comment.