Continued fallout from the bombshell revelation that former FBI Director James Comey began drafting Hillary Clinton’s exoneration letter well before she testified is prompting Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) to demand full transcripts from former FBI staffers for James Comey.
Johnson is the latest lawmaker to dig deeper into how the bureau handled Hillary Clinton’s email case and the ex-director’s statements to Congress. He is demanding full, un-redacted transcripts in a letter to Acting Special Counsel Adam Miles.
Johnson wrote on Sep. 8, “The Committee has conducted oversight of the FBI’s investigation into Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email system. The information in OSC’s possession could further explain the scope, course, and nature of the FBI’s investigation.”
The transcripts in question were from interviews conducted by the OSC with James Rybicki, Comey’s former chief of staff, and Trisha Anderson, the principal deputy general counsel of national security and cyber law.
Claims that Comey “wrote a draft” of an “exoneration statement” for Clinton around early May 2016 were discovered in the redacted transcripts of the interviews, it was revealed last month.
This would have been well before the bureau’s early July interview with Clinton.
The full transcripts “may shed light” on the FBI’s process during the investigation, according to Johnson who says it would be nice to understand the “distinction” between “extreme carelessness” and “gross negligence” when referring to Hillary Clinton’s handling of her private email server.
Comey recommended no criminal charges be filed against Clinton, even as he accused her of being extremely careless in her handling of her personal server and email while she was secretary of state.
In June, Comey said one of the big reasons he spoke out on the case was concern over then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s infamous meeting days earlier on an Arizona airport tarmac with former President Bill Clinton. He also testified a year ago, saying that he made the decision not to seek charges after the Clinton interview.
Some Republicans are calling for Comey to return to Capitol Hill to testify and clarify his past statements.
On Monday, Comey was accused by the White House of giving “false testimony.” Furthermore, Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R-S.C.) wants him to return to Capitol Hill. The senator told Fox News, “I smell a rat.”
Johnson gave the OSC a deadline of Sep. 21 to provide full transcripts, documents, and details regarding their investigation into Comey.
“I think if there was ever a moment where we feel someone has broken the law, particularly if they are the head of the FBI, I think that’s certainly something that should be looked at,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday. She continued by saying that federal prosecutors should consider bringing a case against Comey.
Both the FBI and the OSC told Fox News they had “no comment” on the interviews or on why portions of the transcripts have been redacted.
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