Leahy Comment On The DOJ Inspector General's Report

As Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the 2016 election, Senator Leahy sent a private letter to Inspector General Michael Horowitz asking him to initiate a review of the FBI’s handling of the investigations related to Secretary Hillary Clinton.  This request, on November 7, 2016, followed then-Director of the FBI James Comey’s decision to inform Congress that it was re-opening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails based on newly discovered evidence of unknown relevance, which the then-Director later confirmed did not alter his conclusion that Secretary Clinton did not violate the law.  Following the issuance of the Inspector General’s report today, Senator Leahy released the following comment: 

“Anyone who was paying attention knows that the FBI made egregious mistakes during its investigations of Hillary Clinton.  That was why I asked the Inspector General to review the FBI’s actions at the time. This report confirms that mistakes were made.  It is heartening to learn the Inspector General concluded that the FBI’s actions were not motivated by political bias or other improper considerations.

“Irony does not begin to describe President Trump and his allies exploiting this report for political gain.  Every single public misstep by the FBI during the 2016 election damaged Hillary Clinton and helped Donald Trump.  That is why the president celebrated these mistakes at the time.  That is why the story of Hillary Clinton’s emails was on the front page of every newspaper in the country, while the far more serious investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin was not. 

“The mistakes made by the FBI during the 2016 election did not exist in a vacuum.  Republicans in Congress relentlessly pressured the FBI to release details concerning the Clinton investigation. Now the President and Congressional Republicans are repeating these mistakes, continuing to politicize and attack law enforcement agencies while demanding sensitive information they have no business obtaining while the Russia investigation is ongoing. 

“Politicians on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue need to cease pressuring and interfering in the work of our federal law enforcement agencies. They need to let the Special Counsel’s investigation lead to where it will.”

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