Former FBI Director James Comey was ready to let Hillary Clinton off the hook for possible crimes before his own FBI agents completed their investigation, a Senate committee revealed today.
According to a report by Katie Pavlich on TownHall.com, Comey drafted a letter announcing his decision not to pursue charges against Clinton in April to May of last year, even though the investigation into her email server was not completed until July. The revelation was made by the Senate Judiciary Committee in a formal request to FBI Director Christopher Wray asking for more documents on the case.
Comey was ready to exonerate Clinton even before she was interviewed by FBI agents about her handling of classified information through the server. A letter recommending not charges not be filed against Clinton was eventually released by Comey in July, just days after she was interviewed by the FBI.
More from TownHall.com.
“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.
The revelation leads many to wonder, given his decision in July, why Comey would then throw Clinton under the bus just days before the election. His announcement that he was reopening the investigation into the email server scandal, just days before the election, undermined Clinton’s campaign. Hillary herself outright blamed him for her loss.
As we now know, Comey seems to be incredibly self-focused. While he may have always planned to let Clinton off the hook, one has to wonder if Comey’s decision to reopen the case was an attempt to make himself look impartial, as he knew his actions to clear Hillary would eventually come to light. If so, the tactic worked. Trump was initially supportive of Comey staying on as FBI director, particularly because he chose to reopen the Clinton investigation.
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