Report: FBI gave at least partial immunity to 5 Clinton aides
The weekly document dump by the FBI has turned up some startling information. The Bureau granted at least partial immunity to five Hillary Clinton aides who were key players in the private email scandal now roiling the Clinton campaign.
Clinton's I.T. aide, Bryan Pagliano, has already been held in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify, despite his being granted immunity by the FBI. The documents revealed that Hillary Clinton's friend and lawyer, Cheryl Mills, also received an immunity deal for turning over her laptop.
This has incensed congressional Republicans trying to get to the bottom of Clinton's use of a private email server and why so many emails that were deleted shouldn't have been. They wonder why the immunity agreements did not include language that would have allowed the aides to testify before Congress.
“If the FBI wanted any other American’s laptops, they’d just go get them — they wouldn’t get an immunity deal,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), an oversight panel member, said in a phone interview. “But everyone associated with the Clinton gets a different set of standards applied to them… It’s the strangest stuff I have ever seen.”
Republicans were also incensed that the immunity deals, which now cover five Clinton staffers at the heart of the controversy, did not require witnesses to cooperate with Congress, sources who reviewed them told POLITICO. Such agreements sometimes include language forcing the recipients to answer other investigative entities, but the Justice deals did not.
Republicans have been trying to question several of those protected individuals, including: Clinton’s top IT staffer Bryan Pagliano, who set up the server; Platte River Networks engineer Paul Combetta, who erased Clinton’s email archive days after news of her email use became public; and John Bentel, a tech staffer at the State Department who told his subordinates never to speak of Clinton’s email when they raised concerns.
This latest email flare-up comes at an inopportune time for Clinton, just days before her first debate against Donald Trump. Republicans said the timing of the immunity news was not intentional; they only learned on Friday of the arrangements with Mills, Samuelson and Bentel and almost immediately disclosed them to the AP, which first reported the story. Regardless, Clinton has been unable to shake the email controversy even after the FBI decided against recommending charges against her in July.
Comey's decison not to prosecute Clinton can now be seen in a different light. The fact is, granting all these immunity deals is just another way to cover up the truth. No one under Clinton is going to be held responsible for the illegal deletions of emails or the mishandling of classified data, so how can you hold Clinton solely responsible?
Where it looked as if, at one time, Clinton aides Abedin and Mills would, at the very least, be charged with mishandling classified information, the FBI made sure that no one would be held accountable. Roger Simon of PJ Media asks, "What Happens When You Can't Trust the FBI and the Department of Justice?"
The answer is lawlessness in government at the highest levels.