The Federal Bureau of Investigation is creating a special unit in an effort to co-ordinate investigations into Russia's alleged involvement in the 2016 presidential elections, according to a report from the Financial Times.
Andrew McCabe, the deputy director of the FBI, may be briefed on information involving the investigation, the report states. McCabe's wife ran for political office in Virginia and received campaign contributions from bundlers to Hillary Clinton as well as Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
"It's meant to surge resources," one FBI agent told the Financial Times. The publication notes that the FBI prefers to conduct investigations from one of their 56 field offices, but the nature of the inquiry and media attention requires the investigation to have a central manager. A person briefed on the plan told the Financial Times that it's getting "unwieldy" and "too big" since it's "on the front pages of newspapers every day."
The new team will consist of 20 agents from around the United States and will be led by an FBI counter-intelligence officer. If the group operates in the same manner as similar units in the past daily updates will be given to James Comey, the director of the FBI, and Andrew McCabe, the deputy director, according to the Times.
Andrew McCabe, who helped in the investigation into Clinton's email practices, has come under fire in the past for his wife's ties to Clinton allies.
Jill McCabe, Andrew's wife, unsuccessfully ran for a state senate seat in Virginia. In 2015, McCabe's campaign received $467,500 from Common Good VA, Gov. Terry McAuliffe's political action committee. The Virginia Democratic party provided $207,788 worth of mailers to McCabe's campaign, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Additionally, the Washington Free Beacon reported four top lobbyist bundlers to Clinton also provided substantial financial support to McCabe's campaign.
Fredrick D. Schaufeld, a venture capitalist and investment banker, sat on Hillary Clinton's National Finance Committee with his wife, Karen. Individuals had to raise more than $100,000 for Clinton's campaign, the Hillary Victory Fund, the Hillary Action Fund, or any combination between the three entities, to be included on the committee.
Schaufeld contributed $65,332 to McCabe's campaign, with $55,000 of that amount being donated around the same time Common Good VA pushed nearly half a million in contributions to McCabe. Karen Schaufeld donated $10,849 to McCabe.
Sonjia Smith, who sat on Clinton's national finance committee, donated $45,000 to McCabe's campaign. Michael Bills, her husband, was also on the committee. Bills donated $15,000 to McCabe's campaign.
The Washington Examiner reported Sunday that Sen. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa), the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, recently sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey on the FBI's previous plan to pay the author of an unsubstantiated Trump dossier. Grassley's letter focused heavily on McCabe.
Clinton campaign supporters had paid a former British spy, Christopher Steele, to investigate Trump, the Washington Post reported. "A few weeks before the election," the FBI said they would pay Steele to "continue his work" on Trump. The bureau did not pay Steele.
"The idea that the FBI and associates of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for president in the run-up to the election raises further questions about the FBI's independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration's use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends," Grassley wrote in the letter.
The FBI declined to comment.