According to multiple sources and recently released documents, it appears as if former FBI director James Comey circulated an early draft statement to select members of senior FBI leadership, practically letting Hillary Clinton off the hook before the investigation into her e-mails had officially concluded.
According to new transcripts released by the Senate Judiciary Thursday afternoon, former FBI Director James Comey made the decision not to refer then Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for prosecution long before ever interviewing key witnesses.
[…]“According to the unredacted portions of the transcripts, it appears that in April or early May of 2016, Mr. Comey had already decided he would issue a statement exonerating Secretary Clinton. That was long before FBI agents finished their work. Mr. Comey even circulated an early draft statement to select members of senior FBI leadership. The outcome of an investigation should not be prejudged while FBI agents are still hard at work trying to gather the facts,” the letter, signed by Chairman Chuck Grassley and Committee member Lindsey Graham states. “Conclusion first, fact-gathering second—that’s no way to run an investigation. The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy.”
Per the Washington Times:
Ty Clevenger, the lawyer, has been trying to get Mrs. Clinton and her personal lawyers disbarred for their handling of her official emails during her time as secretary of state. He’s met with resistance among lawyers, and now his request for information from the FBI’s files has been shot down.
“You have not sufficiently demonstrated that the public’s interest in disclosure outweighs personal privacy interests of the subject,” FBI records management section chief David M. Hardy told Mr. Clevenger in a letter Monday.
Additionally, on Monday, the FBI released records which confirm Comey had personally drafted a statement exonerating Hillary Clinton well before he even interviewed her.
Drafts of Director Comeys July 5, 2016 Statement Regarding Email Server Investigation: https://t.co/gbpWJr9eEY
— FBI Records Vault (@FBIRecordsVault) October 16, 2017
According to Newsweek:
The records show that on May 2, 2016, Comey emailed Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, general counsel James Baker and chief of staff and senior counselor James Rybicki. The subject of the email was “midyear exam,” and though the email says its contents are unclassified, the body of the email is redacted in the release.
On Monday, the bureau also released a response to the May 2 email. Rybicki sent the response, dated May 16, 2016, to several colleagues: Peter Strzok, Jonathan Moffa, Baker, Trisha Anderson and E.W. Priestap. He copied McCabe and David Bowdich, the associate deputy director. In the email, which is marked “unclassified,” Rybicki wrote, “Please send me any comments on this statement so we may roll into a master doc for discussion with the Director at a future date. Thanks, Jim.”
The FBI titled the release “Drafts of Director Comey’s July 5, 2016 Statement Regarding Email Server Investigation.” That title refers to a press conference Comey held in which he said the bureau had completed its investigation into Clinton’s use of a personal email system and that it would not be recommending that the Department of Justice pursue charges, though Clinton had been “careless.” The bureau interviewed Clinton on July 2, 2016.