- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 04 November 2016
- Written by NICOLE BENIS | STAFF WRITER
News has surfaced that Clinton’s longtime ally, Governor Terry McAuliffe, of Virginia, donated money to the Senate campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe.
Over a period of time, donations exceeded over $500,000. Many wonder if this is somewhat politically charged since Dr. McCabe is the wife of an FBI official who was later set to be in charge of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.
Democratic Presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton has been centered in many scandals during the 2016 presidential campaign. Granted, it is near impossible for any political campaign to be free from some sort of corruption or scandal. Throughout history there have been contentious political debates, campaigns and elections. Many would not find a donation to a political campaign from a political action committee (PAC) to be problematic, yet this donation was a large sum of money. Andrew McCabe is the Deputy Director of the FBI. Over 1/3 of the campaign funds raised for McCabe’s campaign came from this source.
Associate Professor of political science, Dr. Joseph Patten said, “Terry McAuliffe is an old friend of the Clintons. There is always the suspicion of wrongdoing when candidates receive campaign contributions from people that want favors from them.” Then said, “It only becomes a violation of law if prosecutors can establish the bribery standard, which links to a quid pro quo of money for public favors, which is difficult to prove. No one has ever been convicted of bribery for receiving campaign contributions to my knowledge.”
Both as public figures, Andrew McCabe and his wife Dr. Jill McCabe have the responsibility to keep the public’s best interest at heart. It is noted that Mr. McCabe was not involved with campaign finance and did not attend any events that pertained to his wife’s campaign. It is also mentioned that Jill’s Senate campaign was over and lost in 2015 by the time her husband, Andrew McCabe would be set to investigate Hillary Clinton’s e-mail issue.
When two public figures are married and face the public eye, there can be many fingers pointed as to whether they help each other out. Whether it is to gain a following, for prestige or to be favored, no one can really tell if either side intends to help each other out.
In this particular scenario, events coincided at or around the same time period. It is a quandary as to whether or not involvement of either the husband or wife could have been intentional as both had specific job duties with the government. In essence, Jill could not control who donated money to her for a political campaign. With campaign finance laws and such, it is not uncommon for governors to donate to members of their party. It seems as if the reason many are worried about this specific governor donation is because he was tied to the Clinton’s and the Senate candidate’s husband just so happened to be a high up official at the FBI.
It is unclear as to whether or not many people believe that the couple was free from intervention in the others’ affairs. However, Governor McAuliffe has been involved in the political careers of the Clinton’s for a plethora of years.
Since the early 1990s and Bill Clinton’s presidency, the governor had been a helpful supporter. Both the Clinton’s and the governor helped bolster the public appeal of each when need be. One could say they were and still are friends and political allies. That seems to unnerve many; mainly for the reason that the donations went to someone tied to an FBI official who would be overseeing the Clinton e-mail investigation. Many questions have been raised as to the legality of these actions.
Professor Ryan Tetro, Instructor of political science, said “With today’s political climate, campaign finance law is a hot button issue. Politicians and donors should be cognizant that they will receive unnecessary criticism from the media regardless of the scenario. These donations are never going to go unnoticed based on the nature of the media these days.”
While political campaign donations are not frowned upon normally, people question the intentions of this specific support. Could there have been political motivation for the governor to help his ally, Clinton out in her dilemma with the FBI? Dr. McCabe announced her decision to run for Senate in March 2015. Coincidentally, that is when Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal was discovered.
Senior Political Science and Psychology student, Mallory Inselberg noted, “People will distort the situation either way. People who support her are going to see nothing wrong with it. People who don’t like her will use this revelation as fuel against her. Most of the news is based on public opinion polls so we may never see 100% truth on any side.”
It is said that Mr. McCabe and the FBI remained separate from Dr. Jill McCabe’s campaign and by the time her campaign ended was when McCabe took priority in the investigation.
At any rate, since both were in the public at the time of this news circulating, one can speculate intentions, but nothing can be set in stone since campaigns can be funded by PACs as laid out in campaign finance law.