by WorldTribune Staff, April 17, 2019
The Republican chairmen of three Senate committees are seeking access to a “highly classified” memo relating to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who chairs the finance committee, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who chairs Homeland Security and Government Affairs, are pressing Attorney General William Barr to provide details about the memo, which was drafted in May 2016.
Citing a report by the Justice Department inspector general on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton probe, the senators said the FBI sought to access the highly classified memo, which the bureau claimed was “necessary to complete the investigation.”
The memo was never sent to the DOJ and the FBI closed the investigation and exonerated Clinton without reviewing it.
In September 2018, the DOJ said it could not provide a briefing on the information to the Senate Judiciary Committee, claiming that doing so would interfere with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
“Now that the special counsel’s investigation has concluded, we are unaware of any legitimate basis upon which the department can refuse to answer the Judiciary Committee’s inquiries,” the senators wrote in their letter to Barr.
According to the inspector general’s report, the FBI “considered obtaining permission from the Department to review certain classified materials that may have included information potentially relevant to the Midyear (Clinton emails) investigation.”
In a memo drafted for then-acting Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, the FBI said that the review of the “highly classified materials was necessary to complete the investigation.” The FBI did not submit the memo, claiming, according to the inspector general, “that they believed this information would not materially impact the conclusion.”
The inspector general’s report includes a classified appendix that further describes the “highly classified information,” how it is relevant to the Clinton probe, and the FBI’s rational for not trying to access it.