Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va), wrote a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch in which he asked that questions be answered about the apparent “side deals” that the FBI made with one of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s top aides Cheryl Mills, and lawyer Heather Samuelson.
It wasn’t bad enough that five immunity deals were parsed out with no prosecution in sight — Mills and Samuelson were not just given immunity, they were also allowed to destroy their laptops.
According the letter, Mills and Samuelson’s laptops were only searched for information prior to Jan. 2015, which Republicans noted was absurd because it impeded the ability of the FBI to find information that could have pointed to the destruction of evidence after that date.
Also, as Republicans have also pointed out, Mills and Samuelson had immunity from prosecution for their alleged roles in the deletion of federal records.
The side deal that allowed the laptop destruction as well as the Jan. 2015 restriction on document searches by the FBI added to a situation that already looks bad the for the organization.
As more and more evidence comes in from the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s mishandling of classified information, it seems very likely that they never intended to prosecute Clinton in the first place and did everything they could to keep information out of the investigation — going so far as to apparently be complicit in destroying evidence.
Goodlatte wrote: “Like many things about this case, these new materials raise more questions than answers.”
Zero Hedge culled through the letter and picked out some key points:
As part of the Judiciary Committee’s ongoing oversight of Secretary Clinton’s unauthorized use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State, the Justice Department (DOJ) provided in camera review’ of certain immunity agreements. After a specific request from the Committee, based on references made in the immunity agreements to certain “side agreements,” DOJ subsequently provided in camera review of those “side agreements” between DOJ, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Beth Wilkinson, the lawyer representing both Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson. Like many things about this case, these new materials raise more questions than answers. Please provide a written response to the below questions and make DOJ staff available for a briefing on this matter no later than October 10, 2016.
1. Why did the FBI agree to destroy both Cheryl Mills’ and Heather Samuelson’s laptops after concluding its search?
2. Doesn’t the willingness of Ms. Mills and Ms. Samuelson to have their laptops destroyed by the FBI contradict their claim that the laptops could have been withheld because they contained non-relevant, privileged information? If so, doesn’t that undermine the claim that the side agreements were necessary?
7. Please explain why DOJ agreed to limit their search of the Mills and Samuelson laptops to a date no later than January 31, 2015 and therefore give up any opportunity to find evidence related to the destruction of evidence or obstruction of justice related to Secretary Clinton’s unauthorized use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State.
8. Why was this time limit necessary when Ms. Mills and Ms. Samuelson were granted immunity for any potential destruction of evidence charges?
9. Please confirm whether a grand jury was convened to investigate Secretary Clinton’s unauthorized use of a private email server. Disclosure is authorized under Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)(3)(A)(i) and (e)(3)(D).
You can also take a look at the full letter here.
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