Now that President Donald Trump has parted ways with FBI Director James Comey, the man he once praised and applauded, the federal intelligence agency will be lead by its second-highest ranking official, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe — a Comey appointee who took over the position in February 2016.
McCabe, who holds a bachelor's degree from Duke University and JD from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, joined the FBI in 1996 after working as a lawyer. He was assigned to the New York field office where he focused on organized crime before later shifting his focus to counterterrorism matters. In 2013, he was promoted to executive assistant director of the National Security Branch.
While some have called the 49-year-old a respectable and reputable officer, the truth is that McCabe is not a stranger to controversies. In fact, some believe he may not even helm the department for much longer.
Alleged Clinton Ties
In 2015, McCabe’s wife, Jill McCabe, ran for the Virginia state senate and received hefty donations from the state Democratic Party and a political action committee run by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who happened to be a longtime Clinton operative.
Considering Jill was running as a Democrat, the $500,000 campaign contribution would not have been as big of an issue if her husband had not gone on to investigate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails scandal.
Although McCabe has denied any misconduct and asserts he consulted with the ethics officers before his wife decided to run for office, the fact he didn’t recuse himself from the email probe stirred some controversy.
So far, the entire case against him and his wife has just been based on speculations.
During his election campaign, then-Republican nominee Trump lambasted McCabe during a rally in Florida.
"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.”
The Trump campaign even released a statement titled “Clinton ally aiding wife of top FBI official” to slam McCabe — a press release that is no longer available on the website.
Justice Department Violation
Earlier this year, the now-former Director Comey and acting Director McCabe discussed the agency’s ongoing investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election with White House Chief of State Reince Priebus.
The thing is the contacts between the bureau officials and the administration may have violated multiple Justice Department rules.
How Long Will The New Leadership Last?
As if that wasn’t enough, The Daily Beast recently cited a “well-wired federal law enforcement source” who said McCabe will “likely resign or be fired,” although not for at least a few weeks given the nation's security threats.
The reason: As it turns out, Trump administration suspects McCabe might be the one to have leaked the transcripts of calls between ex-National Security Michel Flynn and the russian ambassador to the U.S. It was their discussion about U.S. sanctions on Moscow that eventually led to Flynn’s resignation.