Just a few weeks ago, the anti-Trump commentariat was doing their happy dance over a warning issued by the Office of Special Counsel to White House social media director Dan Scavino over a tweet he sent advocating a primary challenge to Representative Justin Amash.
— Dan Scavino (@DanScavino) April 1, 2017
Office of Special Counsel is the agency charged with enforcing the Hatch Act. The Hatch Act mostly limits the political activity of federal employees, be they career or Schedule C. Scavino ran afoul of the rule that says you can’t make posts on social media while identifying yourself as a federal employee that advocate for the election or defeat of a candidate. On the whole, it was a chickensh** gotcha that Scavino should have been smart enough to avoid but it is the kind of chickensh** gotcha that makes the system somewhat work because, without this kind of sword of Damocles hanging from the ceiling of federal agencies, the civil service would, in addition to being a Democrat plantation, be an active arm of the Democrat party.
It is one thing, of course, to be a political operative and fundraiser and brand new to federal employment and violate the Hatch Act, it is quite another to be a career federal employee and second in command of an agency that is labeled “further restricted” and to blatantly violate the law. (This pamphlet gives the rules, note that the FBI employees are “further restricted” employees.) And that brings us to our subject, deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.
McCabe has been in the limelight recently because he is now the acting FBI director until a new director is confirmed. He was also active in the Hillary Clinton email investigation. His other claim to fame is that his wife is prominent in Virginia Democrat politics (to the extent that Northern Virginia Democrats can be said to Virginian). She ran, unsuccessfully, for a state senate seat. She received some $700K from the Clinton organization via Clinton bag man and Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe.
Being the spouse of a political candidate presents a host of challenges for a federal employee, particularly one in a “further restricted” agency. And McCabe did not meet them well.
The Office of U.S. Special Counsel, the government’s main whistleblower agency, is investigating whether FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s activities supporting his wife Jill’s Democratic campaign for Virginia state senate in 2015 violated the Hatch Act’s prohibition against FBI agents campaigning in partisan races.
The agency’s probe was prompted by a complaint in April from a former FBI agent who forwarded social media photos showing McCabe wearing a T-shirt supporting his wife’s campaign during a public event and then posting a photo on social media urging voters to join him in voting for his wife.
He actively supported his wife’s very partisan candidacy:
He appeared in her campaign’s social media:
He advocated for his wife’s election in social media:
(All images via Circa.com)
What is more damning is that during the recruitment process of McCabe’s wife, McCabe’s official bio was included in her candidate packet:
Meanwhile, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office released to Circa under the Freedom of Information Act documents showing McCabe attended a meeting with his wife and the governor on a Saturday in March 2015 specifically to discuss having Jill McCabe run for state Senate in Virginia as a Democrat.
“This is a candidate recruitment meeting. McCabe is seriously considering running against State Senator Dick Black. You have been asked to close the deal,” the briefing memo for McAuliffe read.
Included in the governor’s briefing package was a copy of McCabe’s FBI biography. The biography made clear that Andrew McCabe was a senior executive who at the time oversaw the FBI’s Washington field office that among many tasks supervised investigations in northern Virginia.
This implication here seems to be that if you select Mrs. McCabe to run for a senate seat then Mr. McCabe will be unlikely to look very hard at the McAuliffe RICO factory in Virginia.
These are the kinds of violations that the Hatch Act was designed to prevent. This is not someone tweeting about a primary challenge, this is a man who is second in command of a “further restricted” agency who is simply ignoring the law and using his position for partisan political purposes.
When you combine this with the allegation that McCabe brought down Flynn and the high probability that McCabe signed off on paying $50,000 to the author of the Trump dossier for more research, the image that emerges is one of a hard core Democrat operative masquerading as a non-partisan law enforcement professional.
Circa follows up today with another story saying that this is only one of three ongoing administrative investigations into Andrew McCabe. Hopefully, one of these investigations will stick and McCabe will be sent packing. But I’m not holding my breath.