This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 29, 2017:
With the withdrawal by former Connecticut Democrat Senator Joe Lieberman from consideration by the Trump administration for the position of FBI director, Andrew McCabe's (shown) name is one of just four remaining names on the list. On Thursday Lieberman said he was withdrawing because of a potential conflict of interest as a result of being a lawyer in the same firm that is representing Donald Trump in the ongoing Russia/Trump investigation.
When Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on May 9, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe automatically became acting director, where he will stay until a replacement for Comey can be found.
Unlike Lieberman, who had precious little real law enforcement experience, McCabe is a career FBI agent, joining the agency in 1996 and working his way up over time. He was part of the investigation into the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and was responsible for the arrest of one of the terrorists involved in the 2012 Benghazi attack.
He's also under investigation by both the Inspector General of the Justice Department and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
McCabe made a mistake, and he failed to remedy it. As Iowa Republican Senator and Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley summed it up in a letter to Comey back in March:
Deputy Director Andrew McCabe helped oversee the FBI's investigation in the Clinton [e-mail] case even though his wife [pediatrician Jill McCabe] received nearly $700,000 from close Clinton associates during her campaign for Virginia state senate [in 2015].
As the FBI's second-in-command, McCabe could have significant influence over the ongoing investigation into allegations of collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russia as well.
Claims that McCabe had nothing to do with his wife's campaign, and further claims that he didn't get involved in the investigation until after his wife had lost the election to the Virginia state senate, didn't wash with the wall street Journal, which declared:
To ask voters to believe that Mr. McCabe as the No. 3 official at the FBI had nothing to do with the biggest, most sensitive case at that agency … strains credibility.
Before he became No. 3 at the FBI McCabe ran the bureau's washington, D.C. field office that provided resources to the Clinton probe. Campaign-finance records show that 98% of the [Virginia Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe] donations to Mrs. McCabe came after the FBI launched its Clinton probe.
The $675,000 that Mrs. McCabe received came partly from McAuliff's political action committee, Common Good VA, while the balance came from the Virginia Democratic Party, which McAuliff essentially controls. None of this escaped the attention of Grassley, who provided the details in his letter to Comey:
As you know, Mr. McCabe is under investigation by the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. That investigation is examining whether the political and financial connections between his wife's Democratic political campaign and Clinton associates warranted his recusal in the FBI's Clinton email investigation.
On March 7, 2015, just five days after the New York Times broke the story about Secretary Clinton's use of private email for official business, Mr. McCabe met with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a longtime, close associate of the Clintons—along with his wife, Dr. McCabe.
Mr. McAuliffe recruited Dr. McCabe, who had not previously run for any political office, to be the Democratic candidate for a Virginia state senate seat. Dr. McCabe agreed, and Governor McAuliffe's political action committee subsequently gave nearly $500,000 to her campaign while the FBI's investigation of Secretary Clinton was ongoing. The Virginia Democratic Party, over which Mr. McAuliffe exerts considerable control, also donated over $200,000 to Dr. McCabe's campaign.
While Mr. McCabe recused himself from public corruption cases in Virginia — presumably including the reportedly ongoing investigation of Mr. McAuliffe regarding illegal campaign contributions — he failed to recuse himself from the Clinton email investigation, despite the appearance of a conflict created by his wife's campaign accepting $700,000 from a close Clinton associate during the investigation.
While there's nothing wrong with liberals running for the state senate — and Dr. Jill certainly qualifies as a liberal, with her record showing her support for LGBT “rights” and abortion — McCabe probably was laboring under the assumption that Clinton would win the presidency in November, and all of this kerfuffle would disappear without a murmur. Thus he decided not to recuse himself from the Clinton e-mail investigation, and this lack of good judgment is coming back to bite him. It could end his FBI career altogether.
If McCabe joins the exodus of those removing themselves from consideration for the FBI post (including Lieberman, Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn, former U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia, and Alice Fisher, the former head of the Justice Department's criminal division), that leaves a short list for Trump to pick from now that he's back in town. That list presently includes former Republican Rep. Michael Rogers (who has been endorsed by the FBI Agents Association), former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, and Fran Townsend, the homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to President George W. Bush.
Being married to a liberal shouldn't disqualify McCabe from the office of FBI director. Exercising bad judgment should, and probably will.