The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs today released an interim report of their ongoing investigation into how the Department of Justice and FBI handled the discovery that Hillary Clinton used an unauthorized personal email server, through which a considerable number of classified emails flowed. Per the interim report, the committee’s investigation is looking into the following questions:
Whether, and the extent to which, any personal animus and/or political bias influenced the FBI’s investigation;
Whether, and the extent to which, the Obama Department of Justice or White House influenced the FBI’s investigation; and
Whether, and the extent to which, any personal animus and/or political bias influenced the FBI’s actions with respect to President Trump.
Unlike the brief House Committee memorandum released a few days ago, this 25-page report uses extensive footnotes to document the material from which their conclusions are drawn. As it points out, the release of thousands of text messages between FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page raise many questions. The entire report is available here. While noting the Senate Committee continues to investigate the matter, this interim report concludes (emphasis added):
The information available to the Committee at this time raises serious questions about how the FBI applied the rule of law in its investigation of classified information on Secretary Clinton’s private email server. We know that:
• The FBI did not use a grand jury to compel testimony and obtain the vast majority of evidence, choosing instead to offer immunity deals and allow fact witnesses to join key interviews.
• There were substantial edits to Director Comey’s public statement that served to downplay the severity of Secretary Clinton’s actions, and that the first draft of the memo was distributed for editing two months before key witnesses were interviewed.
• Director Comey stated that he had not consulted with the Justice Department or White House, when text messages suggest otherwise. We have text messages in which two key investigators discuss an “insurance policy” against the “risk” of a Trump presidency,and “OUR task.”
• Messages discuss “unfinished business,” “an investigation leading to impeachment,” and “my gut sense and concern there’s no big there there.”
• Senior FBI officials—likely including Deputy Director McCabe—knew about newly discovered emails on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner for almost a month before Director Comey notified Congress.
• Over the period of at least four months, the FBI did not recover five months’ worth of text messages requested by DOJ OIG and two Senate committees; however, when pressed, (The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General) was able to recover missing texts in less than one week.