A new report by government watchdog group Judicial Watch has revealed shocking information about Hillary Clinton’s email scandal investigation by FBI. The organization has released new State Department documents that shed light on the investigation.
Contrary to earlier reports, the FBI used a grand jury to issue subpoenas in connection with the investigation of private servers used by Hillary Clinton. This new information indicates that Clinton and her aides were under criminal investigation.
FBI Director James Comey had announced last July that the FBI was not planning to prosecute Clinton or her top aides in the email scandal. Several Republicans had argued that it was a failure on the part of the FBI for not convening a grand jury to issue a subpoena.
It is worth noting that use of a grand jury subpoena is a mandatory process and using it suggests that the investigation was criminal in nature and not a mere security review, as was claimed by Clinton at that time.
Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to force him to take steps towards recovering emails and other evidence against Hillary Clinton, as reported by Washington Examiner. FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence E.W. Priestap wrote the following declaration.
“The FBI obtained Grand Jury subpoenas related to the Blackberry e-mail accounts, which produced no responsive materials, as the requested data was outside the retention time utilized by those providers.”
The subpoenas were served to AT&T and Cingular, which was acquired by AT&T. The new information does not make it clear to what extent the grand jury was used. However, it does reveal that there was an unsuccessful attempt to obtain archived copies of Clinton’s emails.
Judicial Watch‘s president, Tom Fitton, questioned why this information was released now when it was mandatory and not in 2016, reported the Daily Caller.
“It is disturbing that the State Department, Justice Department, and FBI are still trying to protect Hillary Clinton. President Trump needs to clean house at all these agencies.”
Most of Clinton’s email scandal investigation was done with the cooperation of concerned individuals. However, the mandatory process was followed only late in October when warrants were obtained to review copies of the additional emails from a laptop seized from Anthony Weiner.
Anthony Weiner is the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. James Comey was questioned why the grand jury was not being used to obtain the laptop. He had stated that there was a voluntary agreement between him and Clinton’s attorneys.
Involvement of a grand jury would have ensured that FBI received warrants, subpoenas, and all other information under oath. Republican Tom Marino had pointed that going to an investigative grand jury would have resulted in much cleaner and simpler probe.
James Comey had denied talking about the involvement of a grand jury. At that time he had said that in his experience, things could be done faster with informal agreements. The case was later closed citing lack of evidence.
However, Comey later reopened the case a few weeks before the elections. The reopened case did not reach any conclusion and was closed days before the election. Hillary Clinton has time and again blamed Comey for hurting her chances in the elections.
The latest court filing indicates that there is nothing that can be done to recover Clinton’s email messages. Last December, a federal appeals court urged the government to show that all reasonable steps were taken to retrieve the messages.
Even though the report by Judicial Watch reveals the involvement of a grand jury in the Hillary Clinton email investigation, it is possible that subpoenas were issued without any actual involvement of the grand jury. However, the continuous back and forth by investigating agencies raises some suspicion.
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