Ex-Attorney General Loretta Lynch famously announced confidently, when that little matter of her meeting with the husband of an FBI investigation target came up, that she would let the FBI decide whether Hillary Clinton was charged for her “extremely careless” handling of classified national secrets.
That, now, is being questioned.
The Washington Examiner reported that Lisa Page, a former FBI lawyer, testified to Congress last year that bureau officials, including then-FBI Director James Comey, “discussed Espionage Act charges against Hillary Clinton, citing ‘gross negligence,’ but the Justice Department shut them down.”
The transcripts, just released, came from Page’s testimony to a task force of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees last July.
Its revelations are surprising.
“This goes back to the FBI’s ‘Midyear Exam’ investigation, which looked into whether Clinton committed crimes when she sent and received classified information on her unauthorized private email server while serving as secretary of state. Comey cleared Clinton of all charges in a press conference on July 5, 2016,” the report said.
The report explained, “Page told the committee that the FBI ‘did not blow over gross negligence.’”
Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, questioned her, and Page responded that the FBI, including Comey, thought Clinton may have committed gross negligence.
“We, in fact — and, in fact, the director — because, on its face, it did seem like, well, maybe there’s a potential here for this to be the charge. And we had multiple conversations, multiple conversations with the Justice Department about charging gross negligence,” she told members of Congress.
But she said the DOJ, then run by Lynch, stopped all that.
“The Justice Department’s assessment was that it was both constitutionally vague, so that they did not actually feel that they could permissibly bring that charge.”
She emphasized the orders that came.
“We had multiple conversations with the Justice Department about bringing a gross negligence charge. And that’s, as I said, the advice that we got from the Department was that they did not think — that it was constitutionally vague and not sustainable,” she said.
Ratcliffe wanted it to be clear: “When you say advice you got from the department, you’re making it sound like it was the department that told you: ‘You’re not going to charge gross negligence because we’re the prosecutors and we’re telling you we’re not going to.’”
Page: “That’s correct.”
At the social media commentary site Twitchy, there was: “Well, well, well … isn’t this interesting? According to newly released transcripts from former FBI official Lisa Page’s congressional testimony last year, the DOJ instructed the FBI not to charge Hillary Clinton for gross negligence.”
The commentary continued, “The thing is, that’s not how Obama AG Loretta Lynch said it happened.”
She had said she would defer to the FBI on whether to charge Clinton.
It was RealClearPolitics that reported last year: “In an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said she does not recall ‘concerns being raised’ by then-FBI Director James Comey when the investigation into the Hillary Clinton private email scandal was categorized as a ‘matter.’ Comey later publicly testified bedfore Congress that he felt ‘queasy’ being told to use that terminology to describe how the Justice Department of handling the problem.”
It was Page, who with former FBI agent Peter Strzok, exchanged thousands of text messages discussing their opposition to President Trump, and what they could do if and when he was elected.
That activity raised questions of bias.
The Examiner continued, “Page’s testimony raises further questions related to the decision not to charge Clinton with any crimes, including gross negligence, following a lengthy FBI investigation into her email practices that potentially put classified information at risk. After the revelation that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch met with former President Bill Clinton on a Phoenix tarmac in June 2016, while Hillary Clinton was running for president, Lynch refused to recuse herself from the case while also saying she would accept Comey’s decision on what charges to bring against Clinton. But Page’s testimony indicates that DOJ had shut the door on gross negligence.”
It already has been reported that Strzok changed the wording in the report on Clinton’s activities from gross negligence, which is a chargeable offense, to “extremely careless,” which is not.
WND reported last year that the infamous tarmac meeting was set up by the Secret Service and FBI.
It was noteworthy because Bill Clinton was meeting privately with Lynch while his wife was under investigation for mishandling classified information.
The meeting took place June 27, 2016, at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix.