Comey defends giving immunity to Clinton’s aides - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Comey defends giving immunity to Clinton’s aides

WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) asked FBI Director James Comey Wednesday why two former senior Clinton State Department aides who were granted limited immunity were not targets of the investigation.

“From a certain perspective, (Cheryl) Mills, at least initially; because she was an email correspondent; she was a subject of the investigation,” Comey explained.

Comey said Mills was initially considered to be a subject in the investigation but was never considered a target due to lack of evidence suggesting guilt.

The Justice Department had previously granted limited immunity to Cheryl Mills and senior aide Heather Sanderson. The limited immunity agreements helped the Bureau obtain access to Clinton’s classified State Department emails.

Goodlatte asked Comey if the Bureau had discovered classified information on either Mills’ or Sanderson’s laptops.

“I think there were some emails still on the computer (Mills’) that were recovered that were classified, is my recollection,” Comey said.

Goodlatte asked if storing classified information on a private sever effectively constituted a crime.

Comey said he could not provide an answer but maintained that the Bureau effectively investigated the incident.

“It’s certainly something without knowing more you couldn’t prove whether it was a crime,” Comey said. “You’d have to know what were the circumstances; what was the intention around that-but its certainly something that’s been reasonably conducted in the year long investigation… where emails had gone on an unclassified system that contained classified information.”

Goodlatte asked why Mills and Sanderson were allowed to attend Clinton’s July 2 interview after they were granted limited immunity because they could potentially become witnesses or targets in potential future investigations of Clinton.

Comey said the two aides were both legal advisers to Clinton and could not be excluded from the interview.

“The FBI has no ability to exclude or include any lawyer that a subject being interviewed may choose to have,” Comey said.

Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) blasted Republicans for focusing on Clinton’s aides as opposed to national security issues. Conyers also attacked Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for his alleged connections to the Russian government.

“It is now the clear consensus of the intelligence community that the Russian government was behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee—and not, as some suggested, ‘somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds,’ Conyers said, referring to Trump’s suggestion during Monday night’s debate.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.) said the hearing was only taking place in attempt to discredit Clinton’s candidacy.

“Let me say that the mud that is being thrown is only because of the ongoing Presidential election; the case in which the FBI decided there was nothing to prosecute is over,” Nadler said. “We know no one would be talking about it-if it were not…one of the presidential candidate’s political maneuvering.”

Comey has been subjected to Republican criticism since July when he announced the Bureau would not recommend that criminal charges be brought against Clinton for allegedly mishandling classified information while Secretary of State.

A short time after making that announcement Comey told the House Oversight Committee that Clinton had not been entirely truthful when she testified before the House Select Benghazi Committee in October 2015 that she had neither sent nor received classified information on her private server.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch agreed with Comey’s recommendation not to prosecute, which ended the criminal investigation.

TMN Intern Danielle Prokop contributed to this article

This article is republished with permission from Talk Media News 


About the author

Bryan Renbaum

Bryan is a reporter and political columnist with Baltimore Post-Examiner and has broken multiple stories involving athletic scandals. He has been interviewed by ABC's Good Morning America as well as Baltimore area radio stations. Bryan has both covered and worked in the Maryland General Assembly and is extremely knowledgeable of politics, voting patterns and American history. In addition to his regular duties, Bryan freelances for several publications and performs investigative research. He has a B.A. in Political Science. Contact the author.

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