Immunity deals struck for two top Hillary Clinton aides contained unprecedented agreements that their laptops would be destroyed by the FBI after the agency finished its search, House Judiciary Sources claimed Monday.
According to a just released letter from Bob Goodlatte, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to Attorney General Lynch, the FBI apparently struck puzzling and unnecessary “side agreements” with top Clinton aides Cheryl Mills an Heather Samuelson to “destroy” their “laptops after concluding its search.”
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“Like many things about this case, these new materials raise more questions than answers,” Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, wrote in the letter.
Judiciary Committee aides told Fox News that the destruction of the laptops is particularly troubling as it means that the computers could not be used as evidence in future legal proceedings, should new information or circumstances arise.
Committee aides also asked why the FBI and DOJ would enter into a voluntary negotiation to begin with, when the laptops could be obtained condition-free via a subpoena. Once classified government documents are found on a computer, that computer is legally considered government property.
The fact the FBI offered such a deal to Mills and Samuelson has led to claims by lawmakers that the FBI acted as a co-conspirator in what appears to be an unprecedented case of destruction of key evidence.
Furthermore, we learn that according to the immunity agreements, FBI agents limited their search to documents authored before Jan. 2015.
Goodlatte argued such unnecessarily restrictive parameters prevented investigators from examining potential proof of the destruction of evidence that may have occurred after that date, and that the deals offered to Mills and Samuelson already protected the aides from prosecution related to their alleged roles in the deletion of federal records.
So why offer to destroy their laptops after searching them? Just when you think the FBI’s bungled investigation into the Clinton email scandal can’t get any more bizarre and corrupt, it does.
Below are some of the key excerpts from the letter:
As part of the Judiciary Committee’s ongoing oversight of Secretary Clinton’s unauthorized use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State, the Justice Department (DOJ) provided in camera review’ of certain immunity agreements. After a specific request from the Committee, based onreferences made in the immunity agreements to certain “side agreements,” DOJ subsequently provided in camera review of those “side agreements” between DOJ, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Beth Wilkinson, the lawyer representing both Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson. Like many things about this case, these new materials raise more questions than answers. Please provide a written response to the below questions and make DOJ staff available for a briefing on this matter no later than October 10, 2016.
1. Why did the FBI agree to destroy both Cheryl Mills’ and Heather Samuelson’s laptops after concluding its search?
2. Doesn’t the willingness of Ms. Mills and Ms. Samuelson to have their laptops destroyed by the FBI contradict their claim that the laptops could have been withheld because they contained non-relevant, privileged information? If so, doesn’t that undermine the claim that the side agreements were necessary?
7. Please explain why DOJ agreed to limit their search of the Mills and Samuelson laptops to a date no later than January 31, 2015 and therefore give up any opportunity to find evidence related to the destruction of evidence or obstruction of justice related to Secretary Clinton’s unauthorized use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State.
8. Why was this time limit necessary when Ms. Mills and Ms. Samuelson were granted immunity for any potential destruction of evidence charges?
9. Please confirm whether a grand jury was convened to investigate Secretary Clinton’s unauthorized use of a private email server. Disclosure is authorized under Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)(3)(A)(i) and (e)(3)(D).