by WorldTribune Staff, September 1, 2017
Republican senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee said in a letter to the FBI this week that then-FBI Director James Comey began drafting a statement exonerating Hillary Clinton in the investigation of her private email server before interviewing key witnesses – including Clinton herself.
“Conclusion first, fact-gathering second – that’s no way to run an investigation,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa wrote in the letter.
“The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy.”
Grassley and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham wrote in the letter that they learned about Comey’s draft “exoneration statement” after reviewing transcripts of interviews with top Comey aides.
“According to the unredacted portions of the transcripts, it appears that in April or early May of 2016, Mr. Comey had already decided he would issue a statement exonerating Secretary Clinton,” the senators said.
They added, “That was long before FBI agents finished their work. Mr. Comey even circulated an early draft statement to select members of senior FBI leadership. The outcome of an investigation should not be prejudged while FBI agents are still hard at work trying to gather the facts.”
Comey’s statement also preceded the FBI entering into an immunity agreement with top Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson.
“It is unclear whether the FBI agents actually investigating the case were aware that Mr. Comey had already decided on the investigation’s outcome while their work was ongoing,” the senators wrote.
In the letter to FBI Director Chris Wray, the senators said they have requested all records relating to the drafting of the statement.