The government watchdog group Judicial Watch released 79 pages of Department of Justice documents Tuesday, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, showing conflict of interest issues regarding FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s involvement with his wife’s campaign while at the FBI and his investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
The latest documents include a February 2015 email from Jill McCabe to her husband saying she’d been recruited for the Virginia state senate race by then-Virginia Lieutenant Gov. Ralph Northam’s office.
The news that Clinton used a private email server broke just five days later, on March 2, 2015. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a former Clinton Global Initiative board member, met with the McCabes five days after that and Jill McCabe announced her candidacy on March 12, 2015.
Groups aligned with Clinton and McAuliffe donated $675,000 to Jill McCabe’s Senate campaign which amounted to nearly 40 percent of the campaign’s total funds.
McCabe, in an email on October 23, 2016, attempts to deal with the fallout from a Wall Street Journal article titled “Clinton Ally Aided Campaign of FBI Official’s Wife.” He provides Michael Kortan, the assistant director of Public Affairs, with his timeline of events for his wife’s campaign and the Clinton investigation and points out that he contacted then-FBI Chief of Staff Chuck Roseburg about his wife’s candidacy and was told that “the D [Comey] has no issue with it.”
Judicial Watch obtained the documents through a July 24, 2017 FOIA lawsuit filed after the DOJ did not respond to an October 2016 FOIA request.
Earlier this month, Judicial Watch released an internal FBI document that contained an overview for employees of issues related to calls for McCabe’s recusal and suggested talking points “to inform discussions with employees or interested parties in the community.”
The document, dated Oct. 24, cites the Wall Street Journal article and lists McCabe’s potential conflicts of interest and how to respond to questions about them.
The overview claims that the article makes “invalid associations between the events” regarding the investigation into Clinton’s server and Jill McCabe’s state senate run. According to the document, McCabe didn’t have oversight of the Clinton investigation during his wife’s campaign, which ended Nov. 3, 2015.
“It was not until he assumed the position of deputy director in February 2016 that he had oversight of the investigation, well after her political campaign had concluded,” the document states.
The response for those asked if McCabe played any role in his wife’s campaign, according to the document, should be: “No. Then-[Assistant Director] McCabe played no role, attended no events and did not participate in fundraising or support of any kind.”
However, the latest documents released by Judicial Watch show that McCabe used the official FBI email system repeatedly in connection with his wife’s campaign, including to promote the campaign.
Some examples include his wife emailing her husband’s official FBI email account a draft of a press release that announces her run for state Senate and an August 2015 official FBI email from McCabe to a redacted recipient encouraging the person to visit his wife’s campaign website: “Jill has been busy as hell since she decided to run for VA state senate (long story). Check her out on Facebook as Dr. Jill McCabe for Senate.”
“These new documents show that the FBI leadership was politicized and compromised in its handling of the Clinton email investigation,” Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch President said in a statement. “It’s well past time for a do-over on the Clinton emails that requires a new, honest criminal investigation of her misconduct.”
As Judicial Watch revealed earlier this month, McCabe recused himself from the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server just one week before the presidential election,
McCabe is currently under investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the U.S. Special Counsel for potential violation of the Hatch Act for his failure to properly disclose payments to his wife’s campaign on his ethics report. The Special Counsel’s investigation was prompted by a complaint over McCabe posting social media photos in a t-shirt promoting his wife’s campaign and posting messages promoting his wife’s campaign, McCabe is also under investigation by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General for his failure to recuse himself from the Clinton investigation over his meeting with McAuliffe.
President Trump has frequently cited McCabe’s alleged conflicts of interest in the Clinton investigation. He tweeted in July that the “Problem is that acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H [Hillary Clinton] for wife!”