Top officials in the Justice Department may avoid facing an interview over the Clinton email case.
Once they leave office, the DOJ inspector general can’t touch them, The Daily Caller has reported.
Thursday, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced he is opening a review of the FBI and DOJ officials’ handling of Hillary Clinton’s email case while she served as secretary of state.
However, The Daily Caller reported that after top officials, such as Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Peter Kadzik, leave office along with President Obama, the inspector general will have no authority to require them to submit to an interview or to force them to testify.
Former U.S. Attorney Joe DiGenova told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group, “Once they’re gone, the IG has no jurisdiction over them.”
Therefore, the inspector general will be left with a one-sided investigation on FBI Director James Comey and the FBI only.
Kadzik is under investigation as to whether he colluded with the Clinton campaign staff and disclosed nonpublic information to them. WikiLeaks exposed emails revealing Kadzik is a lifelong friend to John Podesta, who was Clinton’s campaign manager, and had been leaking “heads up” insider information on the case against Clinton.
Now, when Kadzik leaves office, he will skate right on through, out of reach of the inspector general.
Former officials are still required to hand over any records requested by the inspector general, and they can volunteer to provide testimony or be interviewed, but can’t be forced to.
Unless Comey leaves the FBI, however, he will be required to fully comply with any requests from the IG.
The loophole is something Congress themselves created, according to The Daily Caller:
Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed a law in December clarifying and strengthening IG powers, but Congress eliminated language in the IG Empowerment Act that would have granted the IG the authority to compel interviews from former employees so the bill could pass, according to Elizabeth Hempowicz, policy counsel for the Project on Government Oversight (POGO).
“At one point, the legislation contained a provision that would have allowed testimonial subpoena power for all IGs, however, that part was taken out to clear the way for the bill to pass at the end of the last Congress,” she told TheDCNF.
Horowitz previously told Congress how his inability to subpoena testimony from former DOJ employees impedes investigations.
H/T: The Daily Caller
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