Former President of USA Bill Clinton, left, speaks during the launch of Pediatric HIV/AIDS in Kenya, as Kenyan Minister of Health Charity Ngilu, centre right, listens at Mbagathi Hospital Nairobi, Kenya, Saturday, July 23, 2005. Clinton and Kenyan Minister of Health Charity Ngilu launched the Clinton Foundation Pedriatic HIV/AIDS initiative in Kenya at Mbagathi Hospital. Clinton is on a two day visit to Kenya. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)
Back in January 2016, there were reports that the FBI, based on emails recovered during the investigation of the Clinton email scandal, had opened a “public corruption” investigation on the Clinton Foundation. If you are a sentient being, you were not shocked by the words “corruption” and “Clinton foundation” appearing in close proximity to one another. I posted on it at the time, but I’ll bring in some relevant quotes here:
Back in January, this news item appeared:
The FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email as secretary of state has expanded to look at whether the possible “intersection” of Clinton Foundation work and State Department business may have violated public corruption laws, three intelligence sources not authorized to speak on the record told Fox News.
This new investigative track is in addition to the focus on classified material found on Clinton’s personal server.
“The agents are investigating the possible intersection of Clinton Foundation donations, the dispensation of State Department contracts and whether regular processes were followed,” one source said.
Naturally, the right people were talked to and suddenly the FBI was basically told to knock it off:
Via the Wall Street Journal:
Early this year, four FBI field offices—New York, Los Angeles, Washington and Little Rock, Ark.—were collecting information about the Clinton Foundation to see if there was evidence of financial crimes or influence-peddling, according to people familiar with the matter.
Los Angeles agents had picked up information about the Clinton Foundation from an unrelated public-corruption case and had issued some subpoenas for bank records related to the foundation, these people said.
In February, FBI officials made a presentation to the Justice Department, according to these people. By all accounts, the meeting didn’t go well.
Some said that is because the FBI didn’t present compelling evidence to justify more aggressive pursuit of the Clinton Foundation, and that the career anticorruption prosecutors in the room simply believed it wasn’t a very strong case. Others said that from the start, the Justice Department officials were stern, icy and dismissive of the case.
“That was one of the weirdest meetings I’ve ever been to,” one participant told others afterward, according to people familiar with the matter.
Anticorruption prosecutors at the Justice Department told the FBI at the meeting they wouldn’t authorize more aggressive investigative techniques, such as subpoenas, formal witness interviews, or grand-jury activity. But the FBI officials believed they were well within their authority to pursue the leads and methods already under way, these people said.
About a week after Mr. Comey’s July announcement that he was recommending against any prosecution in the Clinton email case, the FBI sought to refocus the Clinton Foundation probe, with Mr. McCabe deciding the FBI’s New York office would take the lead, with assistance from Little Rock.
According to a person familiar with the probes, on Aug. 12, a senior Justice Department official called Mr. McCabe to voice his displeasure at finding that New York FBI agents were still openly pursuing the Clinton Foundation probe during the election season. Mr. McCabe said agents still had the authority to pursue the issue as long as they didn’t use overt methods requiring Justice Department approvals.
The Justice Department official was “very pissed off,” according to one person close to Mr. McCabe, and pressed him to explain why the FBI was still chasing a matter the department considered dormant. Others said the Justice Department was simply trying to make sure FBI agents were following longstanding policy not to make overt investigative moves that could be seen as trying to influence an election. Those rules discourage investigators from making any such moves before a primary or general election, and, at a minimum, checking with anticorruption prosecutors before doing so.
“Are you telling me that I need to shut down a validly predicated investigation?” Mr. McCabe asked, according to people familiar with the conversation. After a pause, the official replied, “Of course not,” these people said.
It is some pretty sorry sh** when Andrew McCabe comes out looking like a non-partisan hero.
But, in the end, the investigation went nowhere. I suspect a lot of people decided Hillary Clinton was going to win and no one wanted to be the guy caught running the investigation after she was sworn in…because there is plenty of room in Fort Marcy Park.
But now there is new management at the FBI and new interest is this abandoned investigation:
The Justice Department has launched a new inquiry into whether the Clinton Foundation engaged in any pay-to-play politics or other illegal activities while Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State, law enforcement officials and a witness tells The Hill.
FBI agents from Little Rock, Ark., where the Foundation was started, have taken the lead in the investigation and have interviewed at least one witness in the last month, and law enforcement officials said additional activities are expected in coming weeks.
The officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the probe is examining whether the Clintons promised or performed any policy favors in return for largesse to their charitable efforts or whether donors made commitments of donations in hopes of securing government outcomes.
The probe may also examine whether any tax-exempt assets were converted for personal or political use and whether the Foundation complied with applicable tax laws, the officials said.
Throughout the election, the endemic corruption of the Clinton Foundation received coverage on the right but it never caught the imagination of political reporters who were polishing up their resumes to apply for nice political appointee jobs in the sure-fire-can’t-lose Clinton White House.
Here is a link to RedState coverage and below are my contributions
The real gut-check for Wray on this is when this investigation inevitably touches Uranium One. Rod Rosenstein, now the Deputy Attorney General, and Robert Mueller, the
avenging harpy special counsel, were both heavily involved in that investigation and in the decision to not charge anyone and to slap a non-disclosure agreement on their chief informant.