Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page testified before Congress last summer but it was a closed session. Today, transcripts of her appearance were released and they apparently contained some news about what the FBI thought about Hillary Clinton’s private email system. According to Page, the FBI discussed charging Clinton for behaving with gross negligence, but the DOJ said no. From the Washington Examiner:
Page said Comey and the FBI spoke with DOJ about a gross negligence charge for Clinton multiple times, but that the DOJ consistently pushed back on it. “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 asked if the decision not to charge Clinton with gross negligence was a direct order from the DOJ. “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,’” he said.
Page responded: “That’s correct.”
This fits with something John Solomon at the Hill reported last month. According to his congressional testimony, former FBI General Counsel James Baker had initially supported charging Clinton under gross negligence but changed his mind:
“So, I had that belief initially after reviewing, you know, a large binder of her emails that had classified information in them,” he said. “And I discussed it internally with a number of different folks, and eventually became persuaded that charging her was not appropriate because we could not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that — we, the government, could not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that — she had the intent necessary to violate (the law).”
It makes a big difference whether the change of heart came from the FBI or the DOJ. Why? Because former FBI Director Comey said the reason he gave a statement without clearing it first with the DOJ is that he wasn’t sure AG Loretta Lynch could be trusted. Part of that distrust was based on the tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton but part of it was based on Lynch’s insistence that Comey refer to the investigation into Clinton as a “matter” rather than an investigation. That just happened to line up with the messaging being put out at the time by the Clinton camp.
Lynch never recused herself from the investigation but after the tarmac meeting she agreed to accept whatever recommendation the FBI made about whether or not to prosecute Hillary. What we found out later is that was a hollow promise because, according to texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, Lynch already knew the FBI was not going to recommend charges. And now it turns out that it was the DOJ that told the FBI to forget about charging Hillary even as some at the FBI thought it was warranted.
So to sum this up, Lynch was clearly in the bag for Clinton from the start, so much so that even Comey could see it. Comey had multiple conversations with DOJ about charging Clinton under gross negligence but Lynch’s DOJ told him to forget about it. Then the tarmac meeting happened and Lynch promised to accept whatever the FBI recommended as if her hands were off it. But by that point, she already knew DOJ had talked the FBI out of charging Clinton. Per page, “she knows no charges will be brought.”
What a sham this whole process was from the beginning. No wonder the rank and file FBI agents were furious. They could see back then what we can all see now: The fix was in to protect Hillary. Anyone not named Clinton who had tried this would have been charged.
I’m including this clip again to point out that the evidence of Hillary’s guilt wasn’t that hard to see if you looked: