Judicial Watch has just dumped a new treasure trove of FBI emails regarding Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s conflict check relative to the Clinton email investigation (for those who missed it, we reviewed all of McCabe’s many scandals here: “FBI Director McCabe Subject Of Three Separate Federal Inquiries Into Alleged Misconduct: Report“). Ironically, this particular FOIA request was filed in October 2016 under the Obama administration but they apparently just “didn’t have time” to get to it.
Judicial Watch today released 79 pages of Justice Department documents concerning ethics issues related to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s involvement with his wife’s political campaign. The documents include an email showing Mrs. McCabe was recruited for a Virginia state senate race in February 2015 by then-Virginia Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam’s office.
The news that Clinton used a private email server broke five days later, on March 2, 2015. Five days after that, former Clinton Foundation board member and Democrat party fundraiser, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, met with the McCabes. She announced her candidacy on March 12. Soon afterward, Clinton/McAuliffe-aligned political groups donated nearly $700,000 (40% of the campaign’s total funds) to McCabe’s wife for her campaign.
Judicial Watch obtained the documents through a July 24, 2017, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the Justice Department failed to respond to an October 24, 2016, FOIA request
Among other things, the new FOIA dump reveals a panicked FBI’s efforts to enlist the support of an army of lawyers and public relations personnel to deal with the original Wall Street Journal article (see: “Clinton Ally Aided Campaign of FBI Official’s Wife“) that first revealed McCabe’s ties to the Clintons and his simultaneous oversight of the Clinton email investigation.
But perhaps none of the newly revealed emails from Judicial Watch today are more important than the following one in which McCabe describes how FBI Director Comey was breifed on his ties to the Clintons just days before his wife announced her Senate bid (and subsequently received roughly $700,000 in political donations for Clinton-friendly PACs) and then confirmed that he “has no issue with it.”
An October 23, 2016, email shows McCabe running the response effort to a Wall Street Journal article that was published that day, titled “Clinton Ally Aided Campaign of FBI Official’s Wife.” McCabe provides Michael Kortan, the assistant director of Public Affairs, his version of a timeline of events surrounding the Clinton investigation and his wife’s campaign. McCabe said he contacted then-FBI Chief of Staff Chuck Roseburg about Jill McCabe’s candidacy and was told that “the D [Comey] has no issue with it.” (Judicial Watch earlier this month released documents showing that McCabe finally did recuse himself from the Clinton investigation only a week before last year’s presidential election.)
Internally, the Wall Street Journal article started a flurry of emails among Mrs. McCabe’s campaign, Kortan, Director McCabe, and the FBI’s General Counsel. Part of that exchange is an email from McCabe to someone in the General Counsel’s Office: “Sucks pretty much. Buckle in. It’s going to get rough.” The colleague responds, “I know. It’s awful. I shouldn’t be shocked by now, but I really am appalled.” McCabe also forwarded the article to Comey who responded, “Copy.”
On October 24, 2016, a memo was sent to all Special Agents in Charge, Assistant Directors, Executive Directors and the General Counsel’s Office regarding the Wall Street Journal article discussing campaign activities concerning Mrs. McCabe. Kortan suggested that questions could be referred to his office and he attached an “Overview of Deputy Director McCabe’s Recusal Related To Dr. McCabe’s Campaign for Political Office.” The Overview itself was previously reported by Judicial Watch.
Meanwhile, the documents also show repeated use of the official FBI email system in connection with Mrs. McCabe’s political campaign.
On March 13, 2015, Mrs. McCabe emails to her husband’s official FBI email account a draft press release announcing her run for state Senate.
In August 2015, McCabe uses his official FBI email account to advise a redacted recipient 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.”
On November 2, 2015, Mrs. McCabe forwards an email to her husband – then the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Office – that accuses her opponent of extorting local businessmen. The email was sent to her husband’s official FBI account.
In summarizing these latest revelations, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said “these new documents show that the FBI leadership was politicized and compromised in its handling of the Clinton email investigation…it’s well past time for a do-over on the Clinton emails that requires a new, honest criminal investigation of her misconduct.”