FBI's 302 Report Proves Complicity in Clinton Email Scandal
The biggest and most damning takeaway from Hillary Clinton's July interview with the FBI, at least as it concerns the FBI itself and by extension the rectitude of our government, is, to borrow from Arthur Conan Doyle, the dog that didn't bark. That is, there is no indication that in the course of the interview, FBI agents once asked the former secretary of state about emails to and from Clinton aides regarding Clinton Foundation business.
Clinton's lawyers deliberately withheld these emails from the public and forced the FBI to recover them. They clearly demonstrate Clinton's motive in setting up the server, thereby intentionally endangering the classified material that she and her cohorts knew would inevitably be sent through it. This motive and intent is further demonstrated by Clinton's obfuscations, lies, and destruction of evidence that followed in the course of over a year.
FBI agents never inquired about any of it during the interview. Since they are presumably well trained and experienced investigators (including a section chief), the only reasonable conclusion that can be drawn is that they were deliberately tasked with not pursuing this obvious line of inquiry, as it would have undermined the narrative that Director James Comey intended to deliver to the nation a few days later – that Hillary should not be prosecuted due to insufficient evidence of intent.
The FBI's investigatory reports covering Hillary Clinton's July interview (cynically released just before Labor Day) confirm suppositions of FBI critics that the interview was mostly a farce, and show Hillary mostly restating her standard defenses to complacent and compliant agents who never pushed her or her phalanx of attorneys for more. Indeed, the documents show Hillary accompanied by a gaggle of lawyers that rival O.J.'s (David Kendall, Catherine Turner, Cheryl Mills, Heather Samuelson, and evidently an attorney who shall not be named). Even O.J. did not have a secret lawyer. Getting much of anything done in such an environment would have been a challenge. But then again, the lines of inquiry were almost certainly vetted with Clinton's lawyers in advance (let's not forget the "coincidental" meeting on an Arizona tarmac between Bill and Loretta Lynch the week previous), producing a kind of legal kabuki dance designed to get Hillary in and out unscathed.
Although the FBI reports do not contain an actual transcript, a careful reading and a bit of experience clearly demonstrate what happened in that conference room. The FBI agents dutifully presented Hillary with various problematic classified emails and asked her for comment. Hillary's comments generally took the form of "I don't recall" or "I trusted State Department professionals." She claimed ignorance of classification categories and procedures, denying at one point that she even received instruction about them, although she signed a document upon taking office certifying that she had. Not to mention she was the head of an important government agency and ultimately responsible for its security. She blamed her accidental fall in 2012 for some of the memory loss, otherwise just using the standard excuse of the white-collar criminal of ordinary forgetfulness of detail by a busy executive.
At no time is there any indication that the agents pressed her, nor did they seek at any time an admission from her of anything other than ignorance, inadvertence, or negligent conduct. This Hillary supplied in droves, with the connivance of both her attorneys and the agents, as apparently all concerned knew at the time that Directory Comey had already decided that Hillary's violations of statutory provisions covering negligent conduct were not actionable.
The closest the agents came to seeking an admission of any kind was a single follow-up question on p. 9, part 2 of the Form 302. That occurred after Hillary explained rather incredibly that "she did not pay attention to the 'level' of classified information and took all classified information seriously." An agent asked "whether Clinton believed information should be classified if its unauthorized release would cause damage to national security[,]" and "she responded, 'yes that is the understanding.'"
Note the classic Clintonian use of the third person. The agent evidently did not seek to clarify or attempt to have Hillary say it was her own understanding, which ordinarily any competent professional investigator would do.
Otherwise, Hillary repeated her standard excuses for setting up the server, that she did it innocently for convenience, and implying that her predecessor Colin Powell gave her the idea (though it is well established by Clinton's own accounts that she decided to set up the server before she ever spoke with Powell about the matter, leaving aside differing recollections of what was said between them and when). She also blamed State Department professionals for sending her classified information and seeking it in return, even though the communications went through her private server.
Having received these responses, the obvious course for any honest investigator would have been to show Hillary some of the emails that concerned the Clinton Foundation, which the FBI was forced to recover after her lawyers (some of whom were present in the room) wrongly withheld them from discovery as non-work-related emails.
A simple question – "Did your association with the Clinton Foundation have any role in your decision to establish the private server?" – might have followed. Clinton could have denied it, exposing her to criminal liability for a plainly untrue statement, or more likely her attorneys would have prevented her from answering, citing the 5th Amendment.
The truly disturbing point is that the agents never asked. Now, it could be that Clinton's attorneys, having clearly demanded from the FBI a proffer of the questions (and in the event having received the same), never would have agreed to allow Hillary's questioning if that proffer had included questions about the Clinton Foundation. But any first-year law student can see that questions regarding the Foundation are clearly relevant and material to the case, as they go directly to Clinton's motive in setting up the server and thus could prove the element of intent in exposing classified documents on her unsecured email system, which Comey claimed was necessary for her successful prosecution.
If Clinton had refused the interview, it would have looked bad politically for her and forced the FBI to draw reasonable conclusions from the evidence at hand, which would have meant recommending prosecution, which Comey plainly did not want to do. Whether this is because Comey is a political lackey or bought off, or both, we don't know.
The fake interview thus suited both parties. It allowed Hillary to appear forthcoming, even though she did nothing but provide the same talking points and evasions she had all along, without being confronted with effective questioning or truly compromising documents. The FBI facilitated this not only by failing to question her aggressively, and refusing to confront her with the documents relating to the Clinton foundation, but finally by providing her with an official forum to repeat her outright denials of intent.
I presumed that the FBI did just this here, and the proof is contained on p. 10, part 2 of the Form 302 at the conclusion of the interview, where the agents, obviously having asked her a series of canned questions to elicit just such responses, list her denials of guilt as if they were fact.
Quite simply, the FBI is complicit in the Clinton email scandal and is an active participant in the cover-up of obvious criminal wrongdoing.