Then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced after her infamous airport tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton while Hillary Clinton was under FBI investigation that she would allow the bureau to decide whether the former secretary of state should be charged for her mishandling of classified information.
That claim now is being questioned.
The Washington Examiner reported former FBI laywer Lisa Page testified to Congress last year that bureau officials, including then-FBI Director James Comey, “discussed Espionage Act charges against Hillary Clinton, citing ‘gross negligence,’ but the Justice Department shut them down.”
The newly released transcripts came from Page’s testimony to a task force of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees last July.
Comey, in a press conference on July 5, 2016, announced the FBI had decided not to refer charges for Clinton’s transmission of classified information on her unauthorized private email server while serving as secretary of state.
Responding to a question from Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, Page said the FBI, including Comey, thought Clinton may have committed gross negligence.
“We, in fact — and, in fact, the director — because, on its face, it did seem like, well, maybe there’s a potential here for this to be the charge. And we had multiple conversations, multiple conversations with the Justice Department about charging gross negligence,” she told members of Congress.
But she said the DOJ, then run by Lynch, stopped all that.
“The Justice Department’s assessment was that it was both constitutionally vague, so that they did not actually feel that they could permissibly bring that charge,” she said.
“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 wanted to make the point clear: “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.'”
Page replied, “That’s correct.”
At the Twitter news-aggregating site Twitchy, there was: “Well, well, well … isn’t this interesting? According to newly released transcripts from former FBI official Lisa Page’s congressional testimony last year, the DOJ instructed the FBI not to charge Hillary Clinton for gross negligence.
“The thing is, that’s not how Obama AG Loretta Lynch said it happened.”
Lynch said she would defer to the FBI on whether to charge Clinton.
Last year, in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Lynch said she did not recall “concerns being raised” by Comey when the Clinton probe was categorized as a “matter.”
Comey later publicly testified before Congress that he felt “queasy” about being told to use that terminology.
It was Page who exchanged thousands of text messages with then-FBI agent Peter Strzok discussing their plans to ensure Trump did not win the 2016 election.
The Examiner said Page’s testimony “raises further questions related to the decision not to charge Clinton with any crimes, including gross negligence, following a lengthy FBI investigation into her email practices that potentially put classified information at risk.”
“After the revelation that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch met with former President Bill Clinton on a Phoenix tarmac in June 2016, while Hillary Clinton was running for president, Lynch refused to recuse herself from the case while also saying she would accept Comey’s decision on what charges to bring against Clinton. But Page’s testimony indicates that DOJ had shut the door on gross negligence.”
It already has been reported that Strzok changed the wording in the report on Clinton’s activities from gross negligence, which is a chargeable offense, to “extremely careless,” which is not.
WND reported last year that the tarmac meeting June 27, 2016, at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix was set up by the Secret Service and FBI.
It was noteworthy because Bill Clinton was meeting privately with Lynch while his wife was under investigation for mishandling classified information.