Ask yourself this. If anyone but Hillary Clinton had committed as many crimes, been involved in as many scandals, known to have broken as many laws, or stolen hundreds of millions of dollars from disaster stricken Haitians, they would be in prison for the remainder of their days on Earth. Yet she walks free because there has never been any hard evidence directly linking her to a crime. That may have all changed now.
Republicans on key congressional committees say they have uncovered new irregularities and contradictions inside the FBI’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s email server.
For the first time, investigators say they have secured written evidence that the FBI believed there was evidence that some laws were broken when the former secretary of State and her top aides transmitted classified information through her insecure private email server, lawmakers and investigators told The Hill.
That evidence includes passages in FBI documents stating the “sheer volume” of classified information that flowed through Clinton’s insecure emails was proof of criminality as well as an admission of false statements by one key witness in the case, the investigators said.
The name of the witness is redacted from the FBI documents but lawmakers said he was an employee of a computer firm that helped maintain her personal server after she left office as America’s top diplomat and who belatedly admitted he had permanently erased an archive of her messages in 2015 after they had been subpoenaed by Congress.
The investigators also confirmed that the FBI began drafting a statement exonerating Clinton of any crimes while evidence responsive to subpoenas was still outstanding and before agents had interviewed more than a dozen key witnesses.
Those witnesses included Clinton and the computer firm employee who permanently erased her email archives just days after the emails were subpoenaed by Congress, the investigators said.
Lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee who attended a Dec. 21 closed-door briefing by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe say the bureau official confirmed that the investigation and charging decisions were controlled by a small group in Washington headquarters rather the normal process of allowing field offices to investigate possible criminality in their localities. The Clinton email server in question was based in New York.
In normal FBI cases, field offices where crimes are believed to have been committed investigate the evidence and then recommend to bureau hierarchy whether to pursue charges with prosecutors. In this case, the bureau hierarchy controlled both the investigation and the charging decision from Washington, a scenario known in FBI parlance as a “special,” the lawmakers said.
The FBI declined comment on McCabe’s closed-door testimony and the evidence being shared with Congress.
Some Republicans on the committee say the findings and revelations have left them more convinced than ever that FBI leadership rigged the outcome to clear Clinton.
“This was an effort to pre-bake the cake, pre-bake the outcome,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a House Judiciary Committee member who attended the McCabe briefing before the holidays. “Hillary Clinton obviously benefited from people taking actions to ensure she wasn’t held accountable.”
Gaetz said he could not divulge the specifics of what McCabe told lawmakers, but that he left the Dec. 21 session believing the FBI had deviated from its “normal objective practices” while investigating Clinton.
Congressional investigators told The Hill they also have found some contradictions between the FBI’s official account of what happened and what more recently released documents show.
One that is being pursued aggressively by Grassley involves whether the FBI actually investigated possible violations of the Federal Records Act, which required the preservation of all of Clinton’s work-related emails.
The FBI admits it recovered thousands of State emails that originated or passed through Clinton’s private server — some which had been deleted — that were never turned over to the State Department as government records by Clinton’s team.
While the FBI believed none of those were deleted intentionally to keep them from the government, the Records Act allows for a misdemeanor charge in each instance where a government document is destroyed carelessly, investigators said.
Comey told Grassley back in 2016 that the FBI did investigate whether the unlawful destruction of federal records occurred.
But Grassley’s staff has now obtained a sworn affidavit from an FBI agent that directly contradicts the former director’s assurance. The agent testified under penalty of perjury that the Clinton email case did not address the destruction of federal records, Grassley said.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
January 3rd, 2017
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