Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is suggesting the FBI stopped short in its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of email and criminal charges should have been filed.
“In its haste to end a tough, politically-charged investigation, the FBI failed to follow up on credible evidence of the intent to hide federal records from the congress and the public,” Grassley said this morning.
In addition, Grassley is questioning the FBI’s investigation of Russian tampering with the 2016 presidential election to boost Donald Trump’s candidacy.
“A cloud of doubt hangs over the FBI objectivity,” Grassley said. “The director says the people at the FBI don’t give a rip about politics, but the director installed as deputy director a man whose wife ran for elected office and accepted nearly a million dollars from Governor Terry McAuliffe, a long-time friend and fundraiser for the Clintons and the Democratic Party.”
FBI director James Comey is appearing before Grassley’s Senate Judiciary Committee today and Grassley blasted “leaks” to the media about the investigations into Clinton and Trump.
“We need the FBI to be accountable because we need the FBI to be effective,” Grassley said.
Comey told Grassley he cannot comment “in an open setting” about the details of ongoing investigations, but Comey said he has “high confidence” the Russians “hacked” the Democratic National Committee before the election.
Grassley asked Comey if the FBI paid for a report prepared by the former British intelligence officer about Trump and Russia. According to Grassley, the “notorious” report spins “wild conspiracy theories” that are “unreliable.”
“Yet some continue to quote parts of this document as if it were gospel truth,” Grassley said, “and according to press reports, the FBI has relied on the document to justify its current investigation.”
The report Grassley is complaining about suggested the Russians have information they could use to blackmail Trump.
“Once you buy into the claim of collusion, then suddenly every interaction with a Russian can be twisted to seem like confirmation of a conspiracy theory,” Grassley said. “Now, I obviously don’t know what the FBI will find. For the good of the country, I hope that the FBI gets to the truth soon, whatever that truth or that answer may be.”
Comey told the committee it’s clear the Russians attacked the “voter registration systems” in some states, but luckily those systems are “a bit of a hairball” and nothing came of it. However, Comey warned senators Russia has attempted to hack election results in other countries and it is “fair” to assume Russia will try to do that in U.S. in the future.