Investigators find documented evidence of irregularities in FBI Hillary email probe

It appears that congressional investigators are finally making some headway in the investigation into the FBI's handling of its Hillary Clinton email investigation.

The investigators say they have documented proof that the FBI believed there were laws broken by Clinton when she transmitted classified information on her unsecured email server.  There is also evidence that the FBI began the process of exonerating Clinton before evidence under subpoena had been received and only a few witnesses had been interviewed.

The Hill:

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 [s]tate 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 [that] 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 [d]eputy [d]irector 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.

The McCabe testimony was reported to be full of holes and contradictions.  That would have been reason enough to open an investigation into the FBI's curious – and suspicious – conduct when probing a sensational political case.  It has been clear since the beginning that the FBI handled this investigation with kid gloves and appeared to bend over backward to give the benefit of the doubt to Hillary Clinton.  Now it looks as if we have confirmation that the fix was in from the start:

"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 [that] the FBI had deviated from its "normal objective practices" while investigating Clinton.

The New York Times is already calling the GOP effort to investigate the Justice Department and FBI "fake."  This is a pre-emptive strike against Republicans and an effort to keep the focus on the "collusion" narrative that so far has been a dry hole for investigators.  Democrats will take that tack if and when committees begin to look in earnest at the FBI's actions to investigate Clinton.  Whether it does them any good will depend on if investigators can prove FBI wrongdoing.

It appears that congressional investigators are finally making some headway in the investigation into the FBI's handling of its Hillary Clinton email investigation.

The investigators say they have documented proof that the FBI believed there were laws broken by Clinton when she transmitted classified information on her unsecured email server.  There is also evidence that the FBI began the process of exonerating Clinton before evidence under subpoena had been received and only a few witnesses had been interviewed.

The Hill:

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 [s]tate 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 [that] 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 [d]eputy [d]irector 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.

The McCabe testimony was reported to be full of holes and contradictions.  That would have been reason enough to open an investigation into the FBI's curious – and suspicious – conduct when probing a sensational political case.  It has been clear since the beginning that the FBI handled this investigation with kid gloves and appeared to bend over backward to give the benefit of the doubt to Hillary Clinton.  Now it looks as if we have confirmation that the fix was in from the start:

"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 [that] the FBI had deviated from its "normal objective practices" while investigating Clinton.

The New York Times is already calling the GOP effort to investigate the Justice Department and FBI "fake."  This is a pre-emptive strike against Republicans and an effort to keep the focus on the "collusion" narrative that so far has been a dry hole for investigators.  Democrats will take that tack if and when committees begin to look in earnest at the FBI's actions to investigate Clinton.  Whether it does them any good will depend on if investigators can prove FBI wrongdoing.

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