Government watchdog Judicial Watch revealed Friday it has obtained another 186 pages of documentation from the Justice Department regarding Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, and they show evidence of a cover-up of an FBI chart of possible violations by her.
“Judicial Watch caught the FBI in another cover-up to protect Hillary Clinton,” said the organization’s president, Tom Fitton.
“These records show that the FBI is hiding a chart detailing possible violations of the law by Hillary Clinton and the supposed reasons she was not prosecuted.”
Judicial Watch recently released hundreds of pages of records showing former FBI General Counsel James Baker discussed the investigation of Clinton-related emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop with Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall.
The latest cache of documents was obtained from the government through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed against the Department of Justice after it failed to respond to a 2017 FOIA request seeking all communications between fired FBI official Peter Strzok and his paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
It was District Judge Reggie B. Walton who ordered the FBI to begin processing some 13,000 pages of records that fall under the order.
Judicial Watch found, three days after then-FBI Director James Comey’s press conference announcing that he would not recommend a prosecution of Clinton, a July 8, 2016, an email chain showing that the special counsel to the FBI’s executive assistant director in charge of the National Security Branch told Strzok he was making a “chart of the statutory violations considered during the investigation [of Clinton’s private email system], and the reasons for the recommendation not to prosecute.”
The name of the official who sent that message was redacted.
“I am still working on an additional page for these TPs that consist of a chart of the statutory violations considered during the investigation, and the reasons for the recommendation not to prosecute, hopefully in non-lawyer friendly terms,” the message said.
Whatever was in the chart remains concealed by the FBI, Judicial Watch said.
But there were further messages in the chain, including this when Strzok forwarded it to others:
“I have redlined some points. Broadly, I have some concerns about asking some our [sic] senior field folks to get into the business of briefing this case, particularly when we have the D’s [Comey’s] statement as a kind of stand alone document. In my opinion, there’s too much nuance, detail, and potential for missteps. But I get they may likely be asked for comment.”
An unidentified official then writes to Strzok and others:
“The DD [Andrew McCabe] will need to approve these before they are pushed out to anyone. At the end of last week, he wasn’t inclined to send them to anyone. But, it’s great to have them on the shelf in case they’re needed.”
Another unidentified official continued the chain:
“I’m really not sure why they continued working on these [talking points]. In the morning, I’ll make sure Andy [McCabe] tells Mike [Kortan] to keep these in his pocket. I guess Andy just didn’t ever have a moment to turn these off with Mike like he said he would.”
Judicial Watch pointed out the documents also show in 2016 James Rybicki, former chief of staff to Comey, sent FBI General Counsel James Baker; Bill Priestap, former assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division; McCabe; Page; and others an email with the subject line “Request from the Director.”
He said, “By NLT [no later than] next Monday, the Director would like to see a list of all cases charged in the last 20 years where the gravamen of the charge was mishandling classified information.”
The list was to include, among other things, “charge of conviction.”
Also revealed was that Beth Wilkinson, a lawyer for Clinton aides during the email investigation, was “haranguing” the FBI to return laptops the agency had.
At one point in a discussion about meetings, Page responds, “I’m ignoring all this and going to bed.”
Another exchange occurred when a member of FactCheck.org asked the FBI about discrepancies between Clinton statements and Comey statements.
At the time, Strzok wrote, “We’re looking into it and will get back to you this afternoon; the answer may require some tweaking, the question is whether this is the forum to do it.”