What you need to know about acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe before he gets fired, too
With James Comey’s abrupt termination from the FBI, deputy Andrew McCabe will serve as acting director of the bureau until President Trump finds a suitable replacement — AKA one he can be sure will squash any investigation into his campaign’s potential collusion with the Kremlin. While McCabe has served with the bureau since 1996, before his unexpected promotion Tuesday night he had only been in the number two spot for a little over a year. Like his old boss, McCabe managed to make enemies on both sides of the aisle, which doesn’t bode well for his future. Here’s what you need to know about McCabe before he gets fired, probably in a week or two.
A Los Angeles Times profile of McCabe that was published shortly after he was promoted to deputy director in 2016 quoted one coworker who characterized him as “the kind of guy who wants to make sure everything is done by the book” and is “also very good with people.” Two high-profile incidents from the last year, however, seem to contradict those statements. McCabe, for example, was tasked with heading the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. Conservative outlets went apeshit when they learned that McCabe’s wife, a Democratic candidate for the Virginia state senate in 2015, took $500,000 from a super PAC run by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a close ally of… Hillary Clinton.
Jill McCabe’s opponent (who won the election, by the way) called for her husband to resign after the news. Then-candidate Trump even commented on the matter, characterizing it at a Florida rally thusly:
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. 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. This is a disgrace. And she shouldn’t be allowed to run for president. She shouldn’t be allowed. She’s a crook.
While the timeline of the alleged quid pro quo doesn’t add up, the whole thing certainly didn’t garner McCabe any fans in the Republican Party. Then, after Trump won, he managed to piss off Democrats as well.
McCabe, you may remember, is a third-tier member of the Obstruction of Justice League. It was then-Deputy Director McCabe who pulled aside chief of staff Reince Priebus during a White House meeting to tell him, according to the bureau’s investigations, reports of collusion between Trump campaign aides and Russians were a lot of “bullshit” and that the bureau would “love to help” the administration knock them down.
Why the number two person in the FBI is telling members of the administration about the details of an investigation into members of the administration is beyond me, but it didn’t go over well with the media or the left.
In other words, not a lot of people outside the FBI seem to like this guy. Some administration officials are even suggesting that McCabe is the source of the leaks about former nat sec adviser Michael Flynn’s phone conversations with a Russian diplomat, and we all know how the White House feels about leaks. The Daily Beast reported that his tenure will likely be short-lived, and that he is expected to either be fired or resign in the next couple of weeks.
With Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein expected to name a more permanent interim replacement for Comey in the next day or two, as soon as that person is confirmed, McCabe’s time with the bureau will likely be dunzo. Here’s hoping he releases the piss tape before then.