News & Politics

GoFundMe Helps Disgraced McCabe Raise More than $500k

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Since its launch last week, the GoFundMe campaign for disgraced former G-man Andrew McCabe has raised over $542,000 — more than twice its goal of $250,000.

According to George Washington University Professor Jonathan Turley in The Hill today, charity watchdogs are now demanding full transparency and information about his case so that “consumers or donors” are not “snookered.”

Turley asks: “If the public learns that McCabe’s wound was self-inflicted, or even criminal in character, do they get their money back?”

Indeed, it is curious that the popular crowdfunding website is allowing the recently fired dirty cop — who by all accounts is quite wealthy — to use its platform to fundraise ahead of the inspector general report on his conduct. The report may lead to criminal charges. Turley argues that any GoFundMe effort on McCabe’s behalf “should follow, not precede, the report on his conduct.”

In the past, GoFundMe has not hesitated to shut down fundraising accounts of certain “disfavored” individuals.

In the spring of 2015, the crowdfunding site closed down several high-profile conservative fundraising campaigns for individuals in danger of losing everything due to the extreme penalties imposed on them by activist courts and/or prosecutors.

In April of that year, GoFundMe dropped the campaign set up for Aaron and Melissa Klein, Christian bakers facing a $135,000 fine for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.

After a public outcry, the popular crowdfunding website quietly changed its public policies, adding “discriminatory” campaigns to the list of causes that can’t use the website to fundraise. GoFundMe described the new terms as being part of an effort to protect its community.

The change allowed GoFundMe to also drop Christian grandma and florist Barronelle Stutzman, who was ordered by the state court to pay fines and fees that could surpass $2 million for declining to make floral arrangements for a same-sex ceremony.

Stutzman is at risk of losing her flower shop, Arlene’s Flowers, along with her family’s savings, her retirement fund, and her home. Aaron and Melissa’s bakery, “Sweetcakes by Melissa,” eventually had to close its doors.

Neither business had broken any criminal laws, but both were found guilty of violating civil anti-discrimination laws. Both of their cases are now tied up in the courts.

In May of 2015, GoFundMe also removed the fundraising page for the Maryland officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray. The page, which was created by the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police, lasted for less than an hour before it was removed from the site.

“We have received many requests to open an online account that will accept monetary donations for the 6 officers who have been wrongly charged in the death of Freddie Gray,” the BCFOP wrote on the short-lived campaign site.

As reported in the Baltimore Sun, a spokeswoman for GoFundMe said at the time:

GoFundMe removed the fundraising campaign created for the Baltimore police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray. GoFundMe cannot be used to benefit those who are charged with serious violations of the law. The campaign clearly stated that the money raised would be used to assist the officers with their legal fees, which is a direct violation of GoFundMe’s terms. Specifically, “campaigns in defense of formal charges or claims of heinous crimes, violent, hateful, sexual or discriminatory acts” are not permitted on GoFundMe.

All monies collected were to be used to assist the officers with their living expenses during their unpaid suspension, and to help defray their legal expenses.

As it turned out, none of the officers involved in the case were found guilty of any of the charges leveled against them.

Also in May of 2015, GoFundMe shut down the fundraising campaign of Liberty Guns, a gun shop in Acworth, Georgia, that suffered a huge loss after it was broken into. Liberty Guns started the crowdfunding effort because their insurance wouldn’t cover the loss of the 36 stolen handguns (worth more than $25,000).

GoFundMe wanted nothing to do with it. It cited as its reason for shutting down the donation page: “NOT ALLOWED ON GOFUNDME: The purchase, transfer, or exchange of weapons of any kind including guns, knives, explosives and ammunition.”

Of course, the Liberty Guns fundraiser didn’t do any of that — but because of its disfavored status as a store that sells firearms and ammunition, GoFundMe decided they didn’t deserve help recovering from the theft.

As shown above, if you’re a regular American facing financial ruin, you can’t always expect help from GoFundMe, especially if you’re in the crosshairs of an out-of-control, activist government. But if you’re a well-heeled former member of the deep state, GoFundMe has your back.

McCabe is estimated to be worth $1.8 million and was never in any danger of “losing his pension,” according to Turley in The Hill:

Federal Employees Retirement System benefits are vested after five years and, thus, were not “lost.” McCabe is entitled to recover at the standard period between 57 and age 62. What McCabe wanted to do is receive his roughly $60,000 annual pension early at age 50 under a special law enforcement program. His dismissal only means that he will receive the pension when he reaches the federal retirement age, like the vast majority of other federal employees. He will likely receive a pension of roughly $2 million.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) revealed last week that McCabe lied not once, but four separate times about leaking information to the press.

“He lied to James Comey, he lied to the Office of Professional Responsibility, and he lied twice under oath to the inspector general,” the congressman said.

As Turley noted: “That is hardly the stuff for a late-night pitch for just a $19.95 monthly donation to support a self-wounded FBI man.”

Indeed. To avoid this spectacle, GoFundMe could easily have changed its policies — like it did in the cases of the Christian businesses, but apparently, some charity cases are more desirable than others.