FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe — who has been the target of President Trump and Republicans’ ire in recent weeks on charges of political bias — had no conflict of interest during the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, according to his agency.
Internal FBI documents published on the bureau’s website Friday show that McCabe’s oversight role in the Clinton probe began only in February 2016 when he assumed his role as deputy director — three months after his wife Jill McCabe lost her bid for a Virginia state Senate seat as a Democrat.
Trump and other Republicans have said McCabe had a conflict of interest because of his wife’s election bid.
Last month, the president reminded the world on Twitter that Jill McCabe took almost $470,000 from a political action committee associated with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a noted ally of Hillary and Bill Clinton.
According to the documents, McCabe had asked before his wife announced her bid in March 2015 if the possible campaign would cause a conflict of interest. At that time, McCabe was an assistant director in the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
“From the first contemplation that his wife would run for office in Virginia, [McCabe] sought out and consulted with ethics officers, which included briefings on the Hatch Act,” the documents show, adding that once she decided to seek office “there was a system of recusal put in place to prevent any real or potential conflicts of interest.”
The documents claim that McCabe blindly provided personnel resources to FBI headquarters because of his position as an assistant director in the FBI’s Washington Field Office, but was “not told what the investigation was about.”
Only when McCabe became deputy director in February did he begin overseeing the Clinton investigation, the documents say.
The FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s emails began in July 2015.
It was reported early Thursday that the Justice Department has reopened its investigation into Clinton’s private email server, and a separate report revealed that the FBI has opened a new inquiry into the Clinton Foundation.
McCabe, who briefly served as acting FBI director after Trump fired James Comey, will reportedly retire from the FBI later this year.