After former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a GoFundMe account popped up and began accepting donations from the public for his legal defense fund.

The fund was shut down four days later, having raised a whopping $554,470. A statement from McCabe was posted on the page:

“The outpouring of support on GoFundMe has been simply overwhelming and has led to contributions that have left us stunned and extraordinarily grateful. The GoFundMe campaign began organically, with generous people spontaneously giving to accounts that others had set up. I never imagined that I would need to rely on this type of assistance. The fact is that if I am going to continue taking a stand against the unfair way I have been treated, I will need the help of a talented and courageous team behind me.”

It has now been reported that the account was set up by a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C. that is connected to former president Barack Obama.

Law & Crime reported:

Melissa Schwartz is a crisis and communications consultant who currently works for The Bromwich Group. After previously working for then-Senator Barbara Mikulski, the Department of Justice, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (where she served under her once-and-future boss), Schwartz joined The Bromwich Group as their chief operating officer in 2012. She’s also McCabe’s present spokesperson.

The Bromwich Group is a K Street consulting and PR firm headed by Michael R. Bromwich. Immediately prior to founding the firm, Bromwich served as the first director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management under President Barack Obama. As a former mineral extraction regulator, Bromwich promised that his firm would never lobby for energy industry clients. Prior to this role, Bromwich served as the Inspector General for the Department of Justice under President Bill Clinton.

Employed by the law firm Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauber LLP, Bromwich also currently serves as Andrew McCabe’s lead attorney.

 On March 29, Schwartz sanctioned the official GoFundMe campaign by tweeting, “Correct. We launched the official campaign today.” Later that same day, in response to suspicion about the veracity of the fundraiser, she tweeted, “That is the official campaign we launched today.” (Notably, Schwartz is also the person who issued the Monday statement announcing the legal defense fund would stop accepting donations–after repeatedly shifting its initial $150,000 goal upwards.)

 

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