A coalition of 11 Republican House members Wednesday referred Hillary Clinton, James Comey and Loretta Lynch to the Justice Department and FBI for criminal investigation regarding 2016 campaign controversies.
The letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee also named other employees of the FBI, including former deputy director Andrew McCabe, and agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
The other Republican lawmakers who signed the letter are Reps. Andy Biggs, Dave Brat, Jeff Duncan, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, Andy Harris, Jody Hice, Todd Rokita, Claudia Tenney and Ted Yoho.
Lynch was named regarding threats made by her Justice Department against an FBI informant who provided the bureau with information regarding the approval by Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration of the sale of 20 percent of U.S. uranium mining assets to a company owned by the Russian government.
House panel member Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., and nine other members also want investigations into how the Justice Department and FBI conducted the probe of Clinton’s mishandling of classified information and the use of the unverified “Steele dossier” to obtain warrants to spy on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
A Clinton spokesman dismissed the referral as politically motivated, Fox News reported.
“House Republicans have seen the numbers and are running scared as we head into mid-term season. They should focus on working for the people they are asking to reelect them, not do Trump’s bidding. It’s pathetic,” Nick Merrill said.
Sessions already has been urged by some Republicans to appoint a special counsel to investigate the Justice Department’s handling of the Clinton investigations. Last month, the attorney general revealed a federal prosecutor was investigating allegations of abuse of power by the bureau and by Hillary Clinton in the sale of uranium assets.
The GOP lawmakers allege potential violations of federal statutes, claiming “dissimilar degrees of zealousness” marked the investigations of Clinton and Trump during the 2016 campaign.
“Because we believe that those in positions of high authority should be treated the same as every other American, we want to be sure that the potential violations of law outlined below are vetted appropriately,” the lawmakers said.
The House member refer for criminal prosecution all DOJ and FBI personnel responsible for signing the warrant to spy on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page based on the dossier prepared by former British spy Christopher Steele. The project, which collected still-unsubstantiated political dirt on Donald Trump from Russian sources, was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
The referral cites a letter to Sessions by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., that accused Comey of leaking classified information in memos of his private meetings with President Trump that were published by the New York Times.
Comey is now promoting a book, “A Higher Loyalty,” in which he admits the memos contained classified information. The lawmakers point out that FBI policy bars release of any classified information pertaining to ongoing investigations without written permission.
The referral letter also cites Comey’s drafting of a statement exonerating Clinton in the email probe before interviewing her. However, the Republican representatives point out, in September 2016 congressional testimony Comey said the FBI made the decision not to recommend criminal charges after interviewing Clinton.
In an interview Wednesday morning with ABC’s “The View,” Comey said the Republican lawmakers’ “accusations are not true.”
In his book, noted Fox News, Comey argued that prosecutors “routinely begin drafting indictments before an investigation is finished if it looks likely to end up there, and competent ones also begin thinking how to end investigations that seem likely to end without charges.”
Regarding the Clinton campaign’s payments to the political opposition firm Fusion GPS to create the anti-Trump dossier, the lawmakers contend the campaign violated federal laws requiring disclosure to the Federal Election Commission.
The FBI informant in the sale of the firm Uranium One, William Douglas Campbell, claims Lynch and the Obama Justice Department threatened, in potential violation of federal law, to destroy his reputation and prosecute him for violating a non-disclosure agreement he had signed with the FBI.
Text messages between Strzok and Page released by the Justice Department in January, the lawmakers said, show the FBI “eliminated evidence that Mrs. Clinton compromised high-level communications.”