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Ashburn’s Andrew McCabe thrust into the spotlight as acting FBI director

Andrew McCabe of Ashburn has found himself in the spotlight after taking over control of the FBI last week. Courtesy Photo/FBI.gov
Ashburn's Andrew McCabe has been thrust into the national spotlight in the past week after taking over as acting FBI director following President Trump's abrupt firing of James Comey on May 9.

In less than 10 days on the job, McCabe has been served letters from top lawmakers in both parties requesting information on the Trump-Russia investigation, he has testified amid a media circus, and he has found his name scattered across national headlines.

But according to people who know McCabe, both personally and professionally, the spotlight has never been something he has sought.

“He's not a grasper, not a riser,” Philip Mudd, a former CIA analyst who has worked with McCabe, said in an interview with the Times-Mirror. “He's someone I'd be happy to have a beer with, and I wouldn't say that about everyone in government intelligence.”

Mudd, who sat in on briefings with McCabe and former FBI Director Robert Mueller, described “Andy” as “low-key, not an excitable screamer” and someone who doesn't “come in with a lot of drama.”

“He's the kind of government official that I say, 'I wish all government officials are like this,'” said Mudd. “ … This dude is really smart.”

While a lot of people in government intelligence are knowledgeable, “the thing [McCabe] has that puts him over the top is the ability to deal with pressure and complex situations without buckling,” Mudd added.

“I never saw a guy that cool.”

This account of McCabe is echoed by others who have worked with him.

“Anybody who is a detractor of McCabe's career probably has a few holes in their professional portfolio,” James A. Gagliano, a former McCabe supervisor, told the New York Times. “There are a handful of guys I can attribute this to: His character is unimpeachable.”

A graduate of Duke and Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, the 49-year-old McCabe began his career with the FBI in 1996 in the New York Field Office, where he was on the SWAT team. Among McCabe's most high-profile work: In 2013 he secured the arrest of Ahmed Abu Khattala for suspected involvement in the 2012 Benghazi attack; a year later he was part of the Boston Marathon bombing investigation.

McCabe was promoted to Deputy FBI Director in early 2016, a position that led him to his current role.

In lighter moments, McCabe is known as a triathlete who has biked to work from Ashburn to Washington.

While his reputation is esteemed in intelligence circles, McCabe isn't without his detractors, the most vocal of whom are involved in Virginia Republican politics.

McCabe's first large-scale brush with political controversy came after his wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, ran as a Democrat for the state Senate in 2015. Jill McCabe was forcefully supported by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, both on the stump and financially to the tune of $500,000. McAuliffe is a close friend and ally of Hillary Clinton, and that relationship led some to question Andrew McCabe's involvement in the investigation into Clinton's emails.

According to an FBI statement, Andrew McCabe “played no role, attended no events, and did not participate in fundraising or support of any kind [for his wife's campaign].”

The statement continued, “Months after the completion of her campaign, then-Associate Deputy Director McCabe was promoted to deputy, where, in that position, he assumed for the first time, an oversight role in the investigation into Secretary Clinton’s emails.”

The Senate race was viewed as one of only a few in the Virginia that could've shifted control of the legislature's upper chamber to Democrats.

Jill McCabe lost the 13th District Senate contest that year to incumbent Republican Dick Black.

Andrew McCabe's involvement in the Clinton email kerfuffle – and whether he should have recused himself – remains under investigation by the Justice Department's Inspector General.

Leesburg resident and prominent businessman Fred Schaufeld defended the McCabes in a letter to the Times-Mirror.

“Whether you agree or disagree with her political positions, pediatric emergency room physician Dr. Jill McCabe and her husband, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, are two of the smartest, most caring and honest Americans I know,” Schaufeld wrote. “They have both dedicated their lives to the service of others and their love of country is so great that Mr. McCabe has even been willing to risk his life in its service, which ironically even includes protecting his wife’s political opponent.”

Schaufeld is a major political donor and fundraiser, predominantly to Democrats though he has given a small fraction, nearly $20,000, to Republican candidates as well.

As for Andrew McCabe's future with the FBI, where he has served for more than 20 years, Mudd said McCabe is “probably a realist about it.” Mudd said McCabe probably knows he's not atop President Trump's list to be permanent director, especially after McCabe refuted some of the president's claims during last week's testimony on the Russia investigation.

“He would say, 'It is what it is.' I don't think he sees it as a raw deal,” said Mudd.

Comments


The Clintons and intelligence community in general need to take a page from the Trump administration and learn how to handle sensitive, classified information.  Loudoun4Trump is 100% correct.  Nobody, and I MEAN NOBODY, would be a better CIA/NSA/FBI Director than the honorable, venerable, grand dragon DR. DONALD TRUMP.  I should add that it’s a little known fact but Mr. President is a world class cryptographer and seems particularly suited for the nuances of intelligence analysis.


At this point, if you’re thinking Trump is good for America I have to wonder what other delusions you may operate under…


Right Dante, like LTM had to print that quote….based on McCabe’s handling of the Clinton e-mail scandal it is obvious he is a moron and may not understand what classified material is—she sent it over an unsecure server numerous times to someone named carols danger, LOL, and McCabe couldn’t find anything wrong with this - maybe the 500k had something to do with that, he did close the case with a favorable Clinton ruling three days later after he got the cash….Trust me, if it was anyone else other than a Clinton they would be in prison like the kid who took a few pics of an againg submarine…the people who pay these blowhards salaries are not fooled and are tired of the incompetence and corruption…drain the swamp Mr. Trump, start with the so called intelligence people like McCabe…


Trump Guy - while that line is not a direct quote, it is attributable to the interview with Mudd, not a statement by LT.  Your beef with all things not Trump does not permit you to criticize the paper for statements others make.


So, this really smart FBI guy gets handed the Clinton investigation after his wife gets $500k from a Clinton crony.  I think this guy knows a thing or two about money trails and he should have ran away from that investigation.  Why didn’t he?

And why does Ms. McCabe keep getting articles about her pediatric center?


Is this a rerun article?  Most humorous line in the article is “While a lot of people in government intelligence are knowledgeable”...that’s priceless, really shows the big government mindset of this paper—no wonder why it wins so many awards from their liberal friends…

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