According to new documents released by the Senate Judiciary Committee, former FBI Director James Comey started to draft a statement exonerating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server BEFORE the FBI interviewed her or key witnesses.
What’s more concerning is that “Mr. Comey even circulated an early draft statement to select members of senior FBI leadership,” reports Townhall.
According to new transcripts released by the Senate Judiciary Thursday afternoon, former FBI Director James Comey made the decision not to refer then Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for prosecution long before ever interviewing key witnesses.
“According to the unredacted portions of the transcripts, it appears that in April or early May of 2016, Mr. Comey had already decided he would issue a statement exonerating Secretary Clinton. That was long before FBI agents finished their work. Mr. Comey even circulated an early draft statement to select members of senior FBI leadership. The outcome of an investigation should not be prejudged while FBI agents are still hard at work trying to gather the facts,” the letter, signed by Chairman Chuck Grassley and Committee member Lindsey Graham states. “Conclusion first, fact-gathering second—that’s no way to run an investigation. The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy.”
“It is unclear whether the FBI agents actually investigating the case were aware that Mr. Comey had already decided on the investigation’s outcome while their work was ongoing. However, it appears that the answer to that question may be underneath some of the extensive redactions that the Department made to the transcripts,” the letter continues.
According to the letter and an ongoing investigation into the matter, Comey started drafting a statement exonerating Clinton in April or May of 2016. At this point, he had not interviewed Clinton herself or her closest aides. This included Bryan Pagliano, who set up the personal server where Clinton hosted and shared top secret information, and Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, who was granted immunity. On July 5, 2016, Comey made his public statement that the FBI would not be referring Clinton to the Department of Justice for prosecution.
As Truth Uncensored reported, lawyer Ty Clevenger had requested documents related to Hillary Clinton’s email probe but the FBI denied him – the reason given? A “lack of public interest.”
According to the Washington Times:
Ty Clevenger, the lawyer, has been trying to get Mrs. Clinton and her personal lawyers disbarred for their handling of her official emails during her time as secretary of state. He’s met with resistance among lawyers, and now his request for information from the FBI’s files has been shot down.
“You have not sufficiently demonstrated that the public’s interest in disclosure outweighs personal privacy interests of the subject,” FBI records management section chief David M. Hardy told Mr. Clevenger in a letter Monday.
The Gateway Pundit reports:
On Monday, the FBI confirmed former Bureau Head James Comey personally drafted a statement exonerating Hillary Clinton months before interviewing her.
Drafts of Director Comeys July 5, 2016 Statement Regarding Email Server Investigation: https://t.co/gbpWJr9eEY
— FBI Records Vault (@FBIRecordsVault) October 16, 2017
The records show that on May 2, 2016, Comey emailed Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, general counsel James Baker and chief of staff and senior counselor James Rybicki. The subject of the email was “midyear exam,” and though the email says its contents are unclassified, the body of the email is redacted in the release.
On Monday, the bureau also released a response to the May 2 email. Rybicki sent the response, dated May 16, 2016, to several colleagues: Peter Strzok, Jonathan Moffa, Baker, Trisha Anderson and E.W. Priestap. He copied McCabe and David Bowdich, the associate deputy director. In the email, which is marked “unclassified,” Rybicki wrote, “Please send me any comments on this statement so we may roll into a master doc for discussion with the Director at a future date. Thanks, Jim.”
The FBI titled the release “Drafts of Director Comey’s July 5, 2016 Statement Regarding Email Server Investigation.” That title refers to a press conference Comey held in which he said the bureau had completed its investigation into Clinton’s use of a personal email system and that it would not be recommending that the Department of Justice pursue charges, though Clinton had been “careless.” The bureau interviewed Clinton on July 2, 2016.
As Katie Pavlich of Townhall points out, the drafted statement is redacted.
An independent (criminal) investigation should immediately be reopened into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server, and James Comey should be investigated for collusion.