Investigative reporter John Solomon claimed this week that a recent Senate staff memo reveals damning evidence of the deeply facile nature of the FBI’s 2016 Clinton email investigation.
“August in Washington can be the political equivalent of an elephant graveyard,” Solomon wrote Thursday in The Hill. “One good rain can wash away the dirt and expose the bones of scandals past.”
According to Solomon, those political rains have apparently uncovered a carcass so pungent it could not remain unnoticed in the FBI’s closet forever.
Meant to brief respective Republican Senate Finance and Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Chairmen Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson on developments in the ongoing probe into the alleged investigative misdeeds of former Director James Comey‘s FBI, the Senate memo suggests investigators did not pursue access to “highly classified” documents that may have served as evidence against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In fact, the FBI failed to pursue access to this “potentially relevant” evidence “despite members of the FBI case team referring to the review as a ‘necessary’ part of the investigation,” according to the memo — as if the American people needed any further evidence Comey and his disgraced cronies Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok had carelessly disregarded, if not knowingly and intentionally botched, the Clinton email investigation.
That investigation has been called into question on numerous occasions since, with a key point of contention being the Bureau’s rationale behind not recommending charging against Clinton — a supposed lack of evidence on the issue of “intent.”
This has, of course, been heavily scrutinized — including by Solomon — as the Espionage Act offers recourse against even those who act with simple negligence in their handling of top-secret and classified documents.
As Solomon pointed out in November 2017, however, Comey coincidentally avoided a charge on those grounds by altering prosecutor’s original filings on the investigation to describe Clinton’s placement of classified materials on a private email server as “extremely careless” rather than “grossly negligent.”
Of course, former Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy dispensed entirely with arguments made with those grounds in May, alleging any reasonable prosecutor could have ascribed intentional wrongdoing to Clinton purely by pointing out her staff’s attempts to wipe the private server of potentially incriminating documents after it was hacked.
But this week’s revelation of a considered choice by the FBI to not pursue any and all evidence related to the case just puts the icing on the cake.
If this report is accurate, it is no longer possible to assume Comey and his team of cronies simply mishandled this investigation. It would mean they actively and knowingly forwent pursuing “highly classified” evidence in the construction of their case.
And all the more embarrassing is the fact that despite a lot of tough talk, members of the Trump administration have held no-one accountable for these types of wrongdoings. This is the case even when — particularly in the case of Attorney General William Barr — members of the administration have known of the wrongdoing for months.
As Solomon writes, after being ignored by previous attorneys general, Grassley asked Barr during his confirmation proceedings whether he would pursue these types of leads, to which Barr swore he would.
But he hasn’t, at least not yet. Just as little to no progress has been made on Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham’s promise to hold accountable those who lied to Congress under threat of perjury during then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation.
As usual, nobody is ever held accountable in the swamp.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.