The Justice Department has launched a review of how FBI Director James Comey handled Hillary Clinton’s private email server investigation while she served as Secretary of State.
On Thursday, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced he is initiating a broad review of any misconduct involving the FBI and DOJ officials investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she served as Secretary of State.
Horowitz said the investigation is being conducted in response to “complaints from members of Congress and the public about actions by the FBI and the Justice Department during the campaign that might be seen as politically motivated.”
The investigation was launched to see if, in fact, Comey had taken proper measures while carrying out the investigation or if he violated protocol by publicly discussing the FBI’s findings and sending updates to Congress regarding new evidence discovered, reports Politico.
It will also look at the FBI’s actions leading up to Comey’s decision based on findings of their investigation on July 5th, 2016 when he stated that Clinton’s handling of classified information was “extremely careless” yet they found no basis in which to charge her.
Additionally, it will look at his decision to write two letters only 11 days before the election to announce he was re-opening the probe against Clinton’s emails after new discoveries pertaining to what was found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. Democrats argue it created damaging news stories so late in the campaign.
According to The New York Times, Horowitz will also examine whether the deputy director of the F.B.I., whose wife ran as a Democrat for the Virginia State Senate, should have recused himself from any involvement in the Clinton email investigation. Another issue is whether a top Justice Department official gave information to the Clinton campaign.
According to a press release from the Office of the Inspector General:
- Allegations that Department or FBI policies or procedures were not followed in connection with, or in actions leading up to or related to, the FBI Director’s public announcement on July 5, 2016, and the Director’s letters to Congress on October 28 and November 6, 2016, and that certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations;
- Allegations that the FBI Deputy Director should have been recused from participating in certain investigative matters;
- Allegations that the Department’s Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs improperly disclosed non-public information to the Clinton campaign and/or should have been recused from participating in certain matters;
- Allegations that Department and FBI employees improperly disclosed non-public information; and
- Allegations that decisions regarding the timing of the FBI’s release of certain Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents on October 30 and November 1, 2016, and the use of a Twitter account to publicize same, were influenced by improper considerations.
Lastly, Horowitz’s office stated that the review “will not substitute the [Office of the Inspector General’s] judgment for the judgments made by the FBI or the Department [of Justice] regarding the substantive merits of investigative or prosecutive decisions.”
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