(The Hill) The FBI has begun turning over to Senate investigators hundreds of pages of memos regarding the bureau’s probe into Hillary Clinton‘s private email server, sources told The Hill.
The sources said the Justice Department notified the Senate Judiciary Committee late Friday and the FBI began transmitting memos soon after to assist Congress in its review of former Director James Comey’s handling of the Clinton email case.
The memos detail how and when the bureau’s leadership declined to pursue criminal charges against Clinton for transmitting classified information on her private email server as secretary of State, an investigation that has remained controversial since the 2016 presidential campaigns.
FBI officials declined to comment. “We don’t have any information for you,” spokeswoman Carol Cratty told The Hill.
The Senate committee has been seeking the memos for some time as it investigates whether Comey chose to absolve Clinton of criminal liability before the election-year probe was complete and before she was even interviewed. Comey ultimately concluded that while Clinton’s handling of classified emails was careless, there was not enough evidence of intent to warrant criminal charges.
Comey had announced in July 2016 that the FBI was declining to pursue charges against Clinton for what it called the careless transmission of classified documents on her private email server. The FBI then re-opened the email case in late October 2016, shocking the political world because it was so close to Election Day, after a new trove of emails was found on an associate’s computer.
Comey then announced a second time he did not plan to pursue criminal charges, a move that came just two days before Clinton lost to Trump in the election. The FBI’s handling was roundly criticized by both Clinton and Trump, and was one of the reasons cited when Trump fired Comey as director earlier this year. Clinton has also blamed Comey in part for her loss in the election.
The new documents being transmitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee are expected to shed light on how the FBI made those decisions, who was involved and whether the decision to clear Clinton was made before she was even interviewed by FBI agents in spring 2016.
The release of the new documents comes as new FBI Director Christopher Wray attempts to build his own relationship with Congress amid multiple oversight investigations.
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