Republicans are calling for criminal investigations into Bill and Hillary Clinton to be re-opened after the Durham Report revealed that top leadership at the FBI had shut down four such probes.
Three of the investigations were launched in early 2016 by FBI field offices in Arkansas, New York, and Washington, D.C. into “possible criminal activity” by the Clinton Foundation.
An investigation was also opened in late 2014 into claims that foreign governments were trying to make illegal donations to buy influence with Hillary Clinton.
According to Durham’s report, investigators were offered documents of one alleged $2,700 illegal contribution that led to a “substantial” further donation.
One of the investigations was partly based on statements made in journalist Peter Schweizer's 2015 book, “Clinton Cash”, claiming the Clintons' charity was taking millions in donations from foreign governments intent on changing U.S. foreign policy while Hillary was Secretary of State.
Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee's Weaponization of the Federal Government subcommittee, said the Clintons “had a team of people at the FBI running interference for them to avoid criminal culpability. These matters absolutely warrant additional exposure and review.”
Former Republican congressman and ex-House Oversight Committee chair Jason Chaffetz said, because the FBI “didn't complete the job,” the investigations should be re-opened.
“They had the scent, they were on the trail, and they were shut down by the higher ups who had an obvious political desire to see Donald Trump lose and Hillary Clinton win,” Chaffetz said. “It's disgusting really. Absolutely these investigations should be revisited.”
Chaffetz added: “There's no reason why Congress can't have a series of hearings with the field agents who were pursuing the Clinton Foundation, and public interviews with them as well.”
The new information about the FBI's Clinton investigations was disclosed in Special Counsel John Durham’s 316-page report delivered on May 12.
The report compared the FBI and Department of Justice’s relentless pursuit of President Donald Trump's connections with Russia to its allegedly lackluster approach to the Clinton probes which were “tippy-toeing” around the former first lady.
Durham reviewed a January 2016 report on the Clinton Foundation by the FBI’s Little Rock Field Office which found possible evidence that “large monetary contributions were made to a non-profit, under both direct and indirect control of [a] federal public official, in exchange for favorable government action and/or influence.”
Durham wrote that the New York and Little Rock Field Offices had “source reporting that identified foreign governments that had made, or offered to make, contributions to the Foundation in exchange for favorable or preferential treatment from Clinton.”
Among the Clintons' foreign entanglements scrutinized in Schweizer's book was a 2010 deal that gave the Russian government control over huge swathes of U.S. uranium production including 38,000 acres in four Western states.
The Clintons have long denied any impropriety.
“[No one] has ever produced a shred of evidence supporting the theory that Hillary Clinton ever took action as secretary of state to support the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation,” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon told The New York Times in April 2015.
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