by WorldTribune Staff, November 7, 2016
WikiLeaks’ exposure of Justice Department conflicts of interest relating to the Hillary Clinton email investigation could emerge as a more important issue than the FBI investigation itself.
Those conflicts have led to a “lack of confidence in the Justice Department’s ability to handle investigations”, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said.
“The entire matter is in desperate need of independent, objective, non-partisan oversight,” Sen. Chuck Grassley said in a letter to DOJ Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz.
In the letter, Grassley named Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who met privately for 30 minutes with former president Bill Clinton at a Phoenix airport in July, just days before the FBI announced it would not recommend the prosecution of Hillary Clinton for her mishandling of classified information.
Grassley said Lynch’s meeting with Clinton “creates the appearance of a conflict,” given that she was appointed to the role of U.S. Attorney by then-President Bill Clinton and she was a partner at a law firm that represented both Bill and Hillary Clinton in their official government capacities.
Another possible conflict of interest stemmed from Justice Department official Peter Kadzik‘s close ties to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. Kadzik, the Justice Department’s liaison to Congress, emailed Podesta in May 2015, giving him a “heads up” that the head of the DOJ Civil Division was about to testify before the House Judicial Committee and was “likely to get questions on State Department emails.”
In the May 19, 2015 email released by WikiLeaks, Kadzik also informed Podesta that the latest FOIA filing “indicates it will be awhile (2016) before the State Department posts the emails” recovered from Hillary Clinton’s private server.
Podesta forwarded Kadzik’s email to the Clinton campaign team, telling them: “Additional chances for mischief.”
Grassley also wants Horowitz to examine why the Justice Department entered into several “unusual immunity agreements” with Hillary Clinton’s closest associates.
The senator said it appears the Justice Department, until now, has relied on immunity to get information, instead of approving the use of search warrants or grand jury subpoenas to compel cooperation with FBI’s investigation.
“The American people deserve to know whether political considerations have improperly affected the handling of this inquiry and understand why key officials failed to recuse themselves to protect the public’s confidence in a fair and impartial inquiry based on merits and the evidence rather than on politics,” Grassley said in the Nov. 2 letter.