Just how many of Hillary Clinton’s aides got immunity, anyway? At least five, according to House Oversight chair Jason Chaffetz, one of whom was a particularly big fish in the Clinton pond. He revealed to the Associated Press that close Hillary confidante Cheryl Mills got an offer of immunity in exchange for giving investigators access to her laptop.
Isn’t that the point of getting subpoenas?
A congressman says Hillary Clinton’s former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and two other staff members were granted immunity deals in exchange for their cooperation in the now-closed FBI investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, tells the Associated Press that Mills gave federal investigators access to her laptop on the condition that findings couldn’t be used against her. Chaffetz says, “No wonder they couldn’t prosecute a case. They were handing out immunity deals like candy.”
Two others involved in the technical maintenance of Hillary’s covert e-mail system had already been known to have received immunity: Bryan Pagliano and Paul Combetta. Chaffetz adds Mills to the list and two other figures from the State Department. John Bentel ran the Office of Information Resources Management, and Heather Samuelson served as an aide directly to Hillary Clinton.
Team Hillary accused Chaffetz of leaking this ahead of the debate for political reasons. That could be a fair point. When did Chaffetz find out about the immunity deals? Oh … today, emphasis mine:
A source familiar with the offer said it came after the FBI interviewed Mills and Samuelson when investigators asked to go through their computers to see if they still contained classified information.
The source said the offer was not related to their testimony, noting that FBI Director James Comey said there was no evidence of a deletion aimed at frustrating the investigation. The information was disclosed by the FBI on Friday to Chaffetz and Oversight member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).
Let’s recap. The FBI claims it found no intent to violate 18 USC 793, even though 793(f) specifically does not require intent to prosecute the mishandling of classified information. They didn’t find any reason to prosecute, but somehow pressed for immunity deals for at least five people in order to get access to evidence that they could have compelled via subpoena. As a result, we have several government officials immune from prosecution in a case that the FBI and the Department of Justice refuse to bring to a grand jury.
In what universe, other than the Clinton Influence-Peddling Galaxy, does that ever happen? Do prosecutors routinely offer immunity in national-security probes involving potential conspiracies for cases that don’t particularly interest them? The real purpose of this immunity seems to have been to make sure no leverage remained to get at potential lawbreaking. Put simply, this stinks from front to back, and side to side as well.
Update: Hey, this is a good question:
@EdMorrissey Before or after they let Mills sit in on the FBI/Hillary soirée?
— Just Tom (@thomasa56) September 23, 2016