By David Hylton
A political organization of Gov. Terry McAuliffe donated nearly a half million dollars to the election campaign of the wife of an official at the FBI who later helped oversee Hillary Clinton's email usage, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Records show that the group -- Common Good VA -- donated $467,500 to the state Senate campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe in 2015. McCabe is married to Andrew McCabe, who is now the FBI's deputy director.
The WSJ also reports that the Virginia Democratic Party donated more than $207,000 worth of mailers to Dr. McCabe's campaign.
McCabe eventually lost in the election to incumbent Republican Dick Black.
On Monday, the Republican National Committee says the donations were "a down payment to influence the FBI's criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server."
In the WSJ report, a McAuliffe spokesman says the governor "supported Jill McCabe because he believed she would be a good state senator. This is a customary practice for Virginia governors … Any insinuation that his support was tied to anything other than his desire to elect candidates who would help pass his agenda is ridiculous."
"These troubling revelations are the epitome of the rigged system millions of Americans are fed up with," the RNC said on Monday. "We simply cannot allow the kind of rank corruption Hillary Clinton and her cronies traffic in to take root in our nation’s highest office."
McAuliffe and the Clintons have been friends for years. The governor once served as Bill Clinton's chief fundraiser and he's appeared in several campaign stops with Hillary Clinton as she runs for president. He also served as her campaign chair in 2008.
After a press conference on jobs in Richmond on Monday, McAuliffe told NBC12 that "I think we're in silly season now. If you actually read the whole article I’m almost embarrassed for the reporter. I supported Jill McCabe because she was the best candidate to be a state senator. It's unfortunate. Sometimes we read the whole story and find out there's no 'there' there. Most journalists would have not written the story and it's just unfortunate but it's politics we live in today. I'm sure next week they'll have me in charge of Bengazi. It's just world we live in today."
The FBI told the WSJ that during the campaign Andrew McCabe "played no role" in his wife's campaign.
"As a federal official … everyone who participated in our campaign understood and respected that he could not participate," Dr. McCabe told the WSJ.
McCabe was promoted to FBI headquarters to the No. 3 position in the agency in July 2015; in February 2016 he became the FBI's director second-in-command.
McCabe was part of the executive leadership team that oversaw the Clinton email investigation. FBI officials, however, say any final decisions in that case were made by the FBI director.
Click here for the full report from the Wall Street Journal.