FBI declines to provide requested materials to House Oversight

Benjamin Wittes discusses Comey

FBI Director James Comey knew that a document crucial to the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server was fake and created by Russian intelligence, but it played a large role in how he approached the Clinton email investigation, CNN reported Friday. Clinton says that decision cost her the election.

The Post report, citing anonymous US officials who were briefed on intelligence reports on intercepted Russian communications, said Kislyak told his superiors that Kushner proposed using Russian diplomatic facilities for their discussions, apparently to make them more hard to monitor.

Both the House Oversight Committee and the Intelligence Committee requested the memos in early May after The New York Times reported that Comey noted in one of them that Trump had asked him to end the investigation into the links his former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, had had with Russian Federation.

Comey usurped nothing. Comey's action neatly accomplished Obama's goal: Clinton's email cloud disappeared, and neither Obama nor his Justice Department could be accused of wrongfully refusing to prosecute Clinton.


Comey argued that Clinton was "extremely careless" in how she conducted business as secretary of state using a private email server and several addresses.

Current and former officials familiar with Comey's thinking told the Times and the Post that Comey was anxious that if Lynch closed the case and Russian Federation leaked the document, it would cast doubt on probe's credibility and independence. But the then-FBI director chose to act as though it were real, anyway - presenting the emails to Congress as authentic intelligence, and freezing Lynch out of major decisions on the Clinton investigation, as though she were, in fact, compromised. But he did not tell lawmakers that the veracity of the information was in question at that time, per CNN. "We don't want to put people in jail unless we prove that they knew they were doing something they shouldn't do". If the alleged exchange had become public, it would have cast doubt on the outcome of the investigation, according to FBI officials familiar with the document.

Chaffetz's request for any documents concerning Comey's conversations with Trump came after The New York Times first reported Comey wrote a memo saying Trump had asked him to back off an investigation into fired national security adviser Michael Flynn. She said that she had "never communicated" with the Clinton campaign staffer in question and offered to be formally interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the matter, according to the Post. The person who had supplied the document, officials told the Post, had provided intelligence in the past that the Bureau could not corroborate.

He replied that the subject was "classified".

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