There is a “stunning” contrast that “may have subverted justice” in the investigations by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and address to conduct official U.S. diplomatic business and of President Donald Trump’s campaign. That’s according to House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (shown above, right).
“This is far beyond what a few Democrats or a lot of Democrats think about Donald Trump,” Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, said on “The Ingraham Angle” during an interview Wednesday night with Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
“This is about how the government — including possibly the White House and the Obama administration, but certainly the FBI and the Justice Department — may have subverted justice in the dramatically different way they handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation and how they attempted to conduct an investigation into the Trump campaign,” he said.
Goodlatte added: “It is stunning how that contrast takes place here. And both Republicans, Democrats and independents — everyone — should be concerned about this because we don’t want the same thing to happen in the next election. You can’t have the most important law enforcement organization in the world conducting itself in the manner it did in 2016 and on into 2017.”
The judiciary panel chief subpoenaed 1.2 million DOJ documents last week regarding its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server and address from 2009 to 2013. Noting that he had only received about 3,000 of the 1.2 million documents prior to issuing the subpoena, Goodlatte slammed the DOJ for not having “a good justification for the delay.” He said that both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray “acknowledged that to me” directly.
“They now say they are hard at work getting those documents ready for us,” Goodlatte said. “In the meantime, we are pleased that the DOJ Inspector General (IG) has announced that he will also look into this matter.”
But Goodlatte warned that the DOJ’s OIG will be unable to look at its own internal operations “from the same perspective that Congress” or a special counsel objectively could.
“The inspector general should get out his report [on] the investigation he’s been conducting for the past year with regard to how the FBI handled the Clinton email investigation first,” Goodlatte said. “In the meantime, we need the documents that we’ve subpoenaed and we need them unredacted.”
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Over the past several months, DOJ and FBI officials have been confronted by growing evidence of pro-Clinton and anti-Trump bias in how they conducted their investigations during and after the 2016 presidential election. When text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page — who worked on both investigations — highlighted the depth of the biases, congressional investigators stepped up their pressure on the executive branch to release the subpoenaed documents.
Goodlatte — who appeared as a guest on “The Ingraham Angle” along with political columnist Byron York (shown above left) — said some key details on Strzok, Page and other matters initially were unnecessarily redacted in some documents that Congress had received.
“We know that Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were talking about a federal judge who was appointed to the FISA court and Mr. Strzok said, ‘Oh, he’s a friend of mine. I’m going to go meet with him.’ That was redacted as well,” Goodlatte said, referring to Strzok’s relationship with Judge Rudolph Contreras.
“We don’t know whether anything wrong took place in whatever conversations they had. But that was material evidence that was withheld from us by redacting materials. We need the unredacted materials,” Goodlatte said.
But while many Democrats focus on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to swing the 2016 presidential election, they have shown a marked lack of interest in the integrity of the investigation into Clinton.