House GOP leaders open probe into FBI's handling of Clinton investigation
The chairman of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees announced on Tuesday a joint investigation into how the FBI handled last year's investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server.
"Decisions made by the Department of Justice in 2016 have led to a host of outstanding questions that must be answered," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said in a joint statement.
The two Republican leaders said they have questions about the FBI's decision to openly declare the bureau's investigation into Clinton's handling of classified information, while quietly investigating Trump campaign associates.
They are also interested to know why the FBI decided to formally notify Congress of the probe on two separate occasions; why the FBI — rather than the Justice Department — recommended that Clinton not be charged after the investigation concluded; and the reasoning behind their timeline for announcing such decisions.
"The Committees will review these decisions and others to better understand the reasoning behind how certain conclusions were drawn. Congress has a constitutional duty to preserve the integrity of our justice system by ensuring transparency and accountability of actions taken," their statement continued.
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House panels to grill Comeys former chief of staff on FBI probe of Clinton
A pair of House committees on Thursday morning will grill former FBI Director James Comey’s onetime chief of staff as part of an ongoing joint probe into the bureau’s handling of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
For months, FBI official James Rybicki has been hotly sought by Republicans, who have suggested his testimony could provide support for President Trump’s decision to fire Comey in the spring of last year.
Rybicki is expected to face questions from members of the Oversight and Government Reform and the Judiciary committees on the drafting of Comey’s 2016 memo clearing Clinton, that year’s Democratic presidential nominee, as well as a series of texts between two agents criticizing 2016 election candidates, including Trump.
Lawmakers will be limited to questions related to how the bureau handled the Clinton investigation, according to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). The narrow scope is likely to avoid conflicting with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia. That investigation includes probing whether Trump’s dismissal of Comey was an effort to obstruct justice.
http://thehill.com/policy/national-secu ... even-hoursFormer Comey aide grilled by House panel for over seven hours
Two House panels on Thursday questioned former FBI Director James Comey’s former chief of staff during a closed-door interview that lasted more than seven hours.
FBI official James Rybicki faced questions from lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee as part of a joint investigation into the way the bureau handled the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
Democrats have slammed the investigation as a sham designed to distract from the federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia, while Republicans have defended it as a legitimate oversight exercise. Oversight chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) characterized the interview as nothing more than a standard deposition.
Lawmakers of both parties filtered in and out of interview tight-lipped on the details of the interview, although they largely indicated that Rybicki was cooperating with the questions. Without divulging particulars, Gowdy described it as turning up previously unknown information. Like a similar marathon interview with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe in December, the briefing was confidential but not classified. <BIG SNIP more blah blah "A colossal waste of time” at the link>
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Justice Dept. watchdog briefs lawmakers on investigation into FBI's Clinton email probe
(CNN)The Justice Department watchdog briefed a bipartisan group of lawmakers Tuesday on its investigation into the FBI's actions during the 2016 election, including its probe into Hillary Clinton's emails.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is nearing the conclusion of the investigation, which includes scrutiny of the actions of senior officials, such as former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Horowitz met Tuesday with House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, the panel's top Democrat, Elijah Cummings of Maryland, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia and top Democrat Jerry Nadler of New York. ...
In the fall, Republicans on House Oversight and Judiciary Committees launched their own investigation into the FBI and Justice Department's handling of the Clinton email probe. The committees have held two closed-door interviews, with former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and James Rybicki, who served as Comey's chief of staff. ...
Horowitz's report is expected to be completed as early as March, although that date could still be pushed back. Asked if the report was likely to come out in March or later, like April, Gowdy said "April."
GOP close to issuing subpoena for Justice records linked to Clinton probe, lawmaker says
A top House Republican is preparing to subpoena the Justice Department for records gathered by its inspector general in his review of how the FBI handled its 2016 investigation of Hillary Clinton, according to two GOP sources familiar with the congressman’s plans.
Lawmakers have clamored to obtain the 1.2 million documents that the inspector general, Michael Horowitz, has gathered in his investigation, which has already led to the ouster of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on the eve of his retirement. But so far, Republicans have complained that the Justice Department has turned over only a few thousand of the documents.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is preparing to issue an “imminent” subpoena to the department to produce the documents, Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) said in an interview. A Republican committee source also confirmed that the subpoena was expected to come soon. ...
Ratcliffe, a former prosecutor, said the forthcoming subpoena was a reflection of frustration among GOP lawmakers with the pace of cooperation from the Justice Department, which also clashed with Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee over classified intelligence about its decisions to surveil a former Trump campaign aide in 2016 and 2017.
Talk about a witch hunt.
Justice Dept. watchdog to report on Clinton-related FBI leaks
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A long-awaited U.S. Justice Department internal watchdog report on former FBI chief James Comey’s public disclosures on Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state and whether FBI employees leaked information to try to hurt her 2016 presidential bid is expected to be issued next month.
The report from Michael Horowitz, the department’s inspector general, arises from an investigation he launched about a week before Republican President Donald Trump, who defeated Democrat Clinton in the election, took office in January 2017.
In a letter last week to Republican Representative Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Horowitz said his office was “working diligently” to complete the report and expected to release it in May.
Horowitz’s letter did not offer details of what will be in the report. In a Jan. 12, 2017 letter to five congressional committees, he enumerated 2016 election-related issues his office would look into.
Clinton has called the FBI investigation into her emails and Comey’s public disclosures about it significant factors in her loss to Trump, who fired Comey as FBI director in May 2017.
Adding:Justice Dept. inspector general finishes draft of report on Clinton email case
The Justice Department inspector general has completed a draft of its report criticizing law enforcement’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe, and current and former officials will begin reviewing the findings this week and lobbying for changes before the report probably becomes public next month.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz notified lawmakers in a Wednesday letter that the draft report was complete and being made available to the agencies and individuals examined in the probe.
The report is expected to blast former FBI director James B. Comey for various steps he took in the investigation, particularly his announcing in July — without telling his Justice Department bosses what he was about to say — that the FBI was recommending that Clinton not be charged, and for revealing to Congress just weeks before the presidential election that the bureau had resumed its work.
It also will probably take aim at others at the FBI and Justice Department, and provide President Trump, a frequent vocal critic of the department and Comey in particular, political ammunition to press his case that law enforcement has been out to get him. Trump last month blasted former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe after the inspector general released a separate report accusing the ex-No. 2 official of inappropriately authorizing a media disclosure, then lying several times to investigators about it.
New York Times: Crossfire Hurricane: How the FBI handled the Clinton emails and the Russia-Trump probes