Neil W. McCabe, the national political editor of The Star News Network, interviewed soap opera superstar Martha Byrne about her and her retired NYPD detective husband Michael McMahon’s ordeal with the Justice Department.
The two-time Daytime Emmy winner said she and her husband learned he was charged with violating the Foreign Agent Registration Act, or FARA when the FBI executed a pre-dawn raid at their family home.
Byrne said her husband, who worked as a private investigator after a line-of-duty injury forced him to accept retirement, took a short-term job in 2017 with an American company helping a Chinese construction firm recover stolen assets.
The actress said her husband and his legal team are now preparing for a January 2023 trial with the financial support of the Pipe Hitter Foundation, created by retired Navy Seal Chief Eddie Gallagher to help warriors and first responders caught up in nightmares, such as this one.
McCabe: In recent years, the Justice Department has used the once dormant Foreign Agent Registration Act to target prominent Republicans.
Daytime drama superstar Martha Byrne told The Star News Network she learned that her NYPD hero husband was their next target when the FBI executed a pre-dawn rate at their home.
Byrne: So when the FBI came to the front door, all we heard was banging, banging. Michael McMahon. Michael McMahon. Michael McMahon. And you look out the window and all you see are the flashlights.
McCabe: The Daytime Emmy winner, best known for her role on As the World Turns, said her thoughts raced to the worst possible scenarios.
Byrne: My son has the same name, so you have to understand something. When someone comes to your door at dawn, you think your child has died.
McCabe: Byrnes said, she and her husband, who has the NYPD Combat Cross among his other awards and was forced by a line of duty injury to accept retirement to become a private investigator, were shocked.
Then came the next shock, that the predawn raid was connected to her husband’s short-term job in 2017, hired in a corporate fraud case by an American firm working for a Chinese company trying to recover stolen assets.
Byrne: So the American company that Mike worked for, the translation company that hired Michael to find the assets for their clients, was here in New York.
McCabe: The DOJ charged McMahon with violating the Foreign Agent Registration Act, or FARA, which requires Americans to disclose when they work for a foreign government or entity in political activities or to influence the US government or the public.
Byrne: After Mike’s arrest, we put all the pieces together, all the evidence we had to show them that he was innocent and they still indicted him, and they still to this day have never spoken to him.
McCabe: McMahon and his legal team are preparing for a January 2023 trial with the support of the Pipe Hitter Foundation, created by retired Navy Seal chief Eddie Gallagher, to back warriors and first responders caught in just this kind of nightmare Byrne said.
Byrne: The Pipe Hitter Foundation unanimously, their board voted to support Mike and believed in his innocence.
McCabe: Reporting for The Star News Network, Neil W. McCabe, Washington.