FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who served as the acting director of the agency after the firing of James Comey and before current Director Christopher Wray was appointed, has come under fire from Republicans, including President Donald Trump, who have accused him of bias in both the Hillary Clinton and Russia election interference investigations.
On December 23, President Trump tweeted about McCabe’s wife, Jill McCabe, receiving donations from supporters of Clinton.
“How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?” Trump tweeted.
He added in a second tweet, “FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!”
It is true that Jill McCabe, who ran for a seat in the Virginia State Senate in 2015 received donations from Democrats, including those associated with then-Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Clinton ally. But the contributions were not made during the Clinton investigation, as Trump said on Twitter, but while Andrew McCabe was in an unrelated role in the FBI. It is not illegal or against FBI rules for the spouse of an FBI employee to receive campaign contributions.
Here’s what you need to know about Jill McCabe:
1. She Ran for Virginia State Senate as a Democrat in 2015
In 2015, Jill McCabe was a Democratic candidate for Virginia State Senate in the 13th District.
The Democratic primary for that seat was held on June 9, 2015, and during this primary, she ran unopposed.
“I’m running for Senate because I am inspired by the idea of making a greater impact in our community,” said Jill McCabe when she announced her run for office in 2015. “Healthcare, public policy and business are intersecting now more than ever. I believe that my experience as a health professional, a working mother and an education leader have helped prepare me to tackle the challenges facing the Commonwealth today. From affordable healthcare to full-day kindergarten, we have a responsibility to give our children the very best Virginia has to offer.”
In the general election, McCabe lost the race against incumbent Republican State Senator Dick Black by a margin of 25,898 to 23,544.
“I am disappointed with the outcome tonight. I congratulate @SenRichardBlack on his victory,” Jill McCabe said on Election Day on Twitter. “Thank you to all of my supporters.
McCabe has not run for office again since then.
2. She Is a Pediatrician Who Did Not Have Political Experience Before Her 2015 Run
When Jill McCabe ran for office, she did not have any political experience. She had worked as a primary care pediatrician, most recently she has been a pediatric emergency physician.
During the election, McCabe’s opponent, Dick Black, faced some criticism when he mocked McCabe for not having political experience. During the election, he tweeted a graphic showing his experience side-by-side with his opponent’s, with Black listing “doctor and mother” on McCabe’s side as if this should not be considered real work.
McCabe proudly embraced the label of a non politician during the election.
“Jill is a pediatrician, not a career politician,” her website said. “As a doctor and medical administrator, she has devoted her time and energy to improving the lives of all those under her care. In the hospital, Jill solves problems by listening to patients, analyzing data, and weighing the risks and benefits of every potential solution. Rather than shy away from challenging situations, Jill makes difficult decisions every day in order to advance the interests of the patients and families who place their trust in her. As our state senator, she will continue to devote herself to ensuring that your interests come first.”
On her website, Jill also said that she knew she wanted to be a doctor since she was 5.
3. During Her Campaign, She Promised to Fight for Women’s Issues
During the course of her 2015 campaign, Jill McCabe promised to stand up for women while in office.
“Jill knows that when women earn less than they deserve, it affects their entire family,” her website said. “That’s why she’ll fight to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work. She’ll also work to keep politicians out of women’s healthcare decisions. As a doctor, she knows that these decisions should be made between women and medical professionals.”
Her top promise, however, was a more local one: to reduce traffic traffic congestion and gridlock.
McCabe was accused by her opponent of being in favor of late term abortions; this claim earned a Pants on Fire rating from PolitiFact, as McCabe only said she was in favor of late term abortions when the life of the mother is at risk.
4. The Political Action Committee of Terry McAuliffe, a Hillary Clinton Ally, Donated to Her Campaign
The political action committee of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Hillary Clinton ally, gave about $500,000 to Jill McCabe’s campaign, according to The Wall Street Journal.
After this report came out, some took issue with the fact that Andrew McCabe was FBI deputy director, meaning he would be involved in the Hillary Clinton email investigation, when his wife had received donations from one of Hillary Clinton’s allies. However, he was not promoted to deputy director until after his wife’s campaign had already ended.
The FBI said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal that 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.”
President Donald Trump first raised the issue of the nearly $700,000 in contributions given to McCabe’s wife during a campaign stop in Florida on two occasions in October 2016.
“One of the closest people to Hillary Clinton, with longstanding ties to her and husband — the closest person, I can tell you that … gave more than $675,000 to the campaign of the wife of a top FBI official who oversaw the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s illegal email server,” Trump said at the Sanford rally, according to Politifact. “In other words, the man who was in charge of the investigation of Hillary Clinton accepted essentially from Hillary Clinton $675,000 that went to his wife.”
“Never happened before. Never happened. Not in this country’s history,” Trump said. “This is a disgrace. And she shouldn’t be allowed to run for president. She shouldn’t be allowed. She’s a crook.”
According to Politifact, the timing of contributions to McCabe’s wife do not line up with the timing of the Clinton investigation:
Trump is correct that hefty donations were given from a Clinton ally to a candidate whose husband was an FBI official … At the time of the contribution, the candidate’s husband was not directly involved in the FBI probe of Clinton’s email server, according to the FBI. The bureau says that by the time he had some oversight role in the Clinton investigation, the election involving his wife had been over for three months. Meanwhile, the decision not charge Clinton was a recommendation made by the director of the FBI. Trump’s statement contains a small element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a completely different impression. We rate it Mostly False.
In March 2017, a Fox News report raised the question of whether Andrew McCabe failed to disclose the contributions in documents he filed with the Office of Government Ethics. He did not disclose his wife’s salary or those contributions in financial disclosure forms in July 2016. The FBI said in a statement that the form was in compliance with “applicable laws and regulations,” issuing a statement to Fox News:
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.”
But some still questioned whether it was ethical to leave the information about his wife off the document.
“If it’s not required, then why is there a spot on the form for spouse’s income?” retired FBI agent Jeff Danik said in an interview with Fox News. “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 January 2017, Michael E. Horowitz, Inspector General of the Department of Justice, announced he would be looking into whether McCabe should have been recused from the Hillary Clinton email case.
5. She & Andrew Have Two Children
Jill and Andrew McCabe have two teenaged children, a son and a daughter.
Jill McCabe told Lenny Letter that during the election, she woke up at 4:20 every morning in order to take care of her kids.
“I usually wake up at 4:20 during the week because my son’s a swimmer and he swims from five to seven,” she said. “I get him up and get him there or in the car pool. I also find that’s the time of day I can catch up on what’s happened overnight. It’s a weird job working as an administrator of an ER. Early morning is a good time to connect with the night-shift people.”
McCabe added that although she and her husband are very busy, they “try to squeeze in 30 minutes of check-in time with the kids, talking at the dinner table.”
They live in Virginia.
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