FBI Pros Question Decision Not to Charge Hillary Clinton

If some in the general public were outraged, so were some in the FBI.

This week, FBI Director James Comey testified that Hillary Clinton and her aides had compromised classified information in an extremely careless fashion, exposed it to hostile adversaries, violated public records law, destroyed public documents (some permanently, so that they cannot be forensically recovered) and that Clinton made repeated false statements in public about her actions. But, he concluded, no charges should be filed. Clinton apparently told the FBI she didn’t understand classified markings and all the technology at issue, and that she didn’t know she was doing anything wrong. And the FBI takes her at her word.

Comey is well-respected by politicians in both political parties and by many within his own ranks. But there is new dissent after his Clinton decision, which some FBI insiders found baffling and contrary to normal practices.

“Many people at the FBI are outraged, but cannot speak out,” one insider told me.

Here are some of the observations by FBI professionals who wish to remain anonymous because their opinions could affect their job prospects:

  • Why wasn’t Clinton’s interview recorded? On May 22, 2014 the Justice Department announced a substantial change in policy “creating a presumption that FBI…agents will electronically record,” expressing a preference for video recordings over audio. “It appears to me they made a deal not to record,” says one observer, which flies in the face of the idea that Clinton was treated like anybody else.

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  • Typically it’s the U.S. Attorney’s office, not FBI agents, deciding whether charges will be filed. “Director Comey seems to have taken on responsibilities far beyond the FBI’s purview–he assumed the duties of the Agent, US Attorney and Grand Jury.”
  • “It appears no Grand Jury was empaneled for this investigation,” says an insider. “This is absurd, Grand Juries are used in nearly all criminal investigations” and that’s where the decision is made as to whether the standard for charges has been met. (Attkisson Note: I have no information on whether or not a Grand Jury was empaneled)
  • A two-day turnaround between the interview with the target and a decision not to prosecute is “unheard of.” “Even in the most straightforward of cases, the time span between a target interview and prosecution opinion takes weeks, not days. If a good interview were conducted [with Clinton] on Saturday, there would have been leads or other new pieces of information to verify or investigate prior to any conclusion to the case.”
  • During his Congressional testimony, Comey indicated he didn’t look into Clinton’s false statements. He said he needed an additional “referral” or formal request for the FBI to investigate whether she committed perjury under oath to Congress. “This makes no sense,” said a career agent. “It is normal practice that if you came upon evidence of a crime different than the one you were originally investigating, it was fair game.”
  • The Director commented that it wouldn’t be fair to charge Clinton for her reckless behavior because no one else had ever been charged by the standard before. “I am not aware of any investigation where a government official went to such extreme measures to comb through the government records,” said a career FBI professional.

Read FBI Director Comey’s statement on Hillary Clinton case

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38 Responses to “FBI Pros Question Decision Not to Charge Hillary Clinton”

  1. Nick Spinelli
    July 9, 2016 at 11:19 am #

    Great piece. I have followed you for some time. You are as straight as they come. I was not aware of the new FBI directive on videotaping interviews, I thought it was still the old 302 days. I did know Comey saying he needed a referral from Congress was BS. Anyone who ever followed a lead investigating knows that.

    My gut, as a former investigator for a prosecutors office told me, was that The FBI did a “phone it in” investigation. This was the Super Bowl and they played it like a preseason game. To not follow-up on EVERYTHING Clinton said in her interview is investigative malpractice. She either lied to the FBI, to Congress under oath, or both. Felonies all.

  2. Dwight Huthwaite
    July 9, 2016 at 11:59 am #

    Were each of the bullet points raised by different sources? I hope you continue to press into this extraordinary situation.

  3. ScienceABC123
    July 9, 2016 at 5:38 pm #

    The whole FBI interview with Hillary was nothing more than theater. That is the only explanation that explains the long delay in interviewing her, not putting her under oath, not recording the interview, and the quick conclusion of the investigation following her interview. It’s all meant to give the ‘appearance’ of truth while denying all truth.

    • Ryno
      July 27, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

      I think it was more about “giving her time to get her ducks in a row”. Every “investigation” during the Obama administration takes years before the primary target is interviewed or actually investigated. This is a two-fold strategy. One, it gives them time to clean up the mess they made. And two, it allows the administration to put out disinformation in the media to the point that most people are just sick of hearing about it. Well, when I say most people, the 50+% of the country who are too stupid, scatterbrained, or cant takes their eyes away from their cell phone for more than 2 minutes.

  4. eRtwngr
    July 9, 2016 at 9:49 pm #

    I’m reminded of a case where a decision was to be rendered on a case and the opinion was written out as though the decision would go one way and then at the conclusion the opposite decision was rendered. It was John Roberts in the Obamacare case. You read the whole opinion and feel he was writing to overturn Obamacare but then he doesn’t. The entire Comey announcement sounded like an indictment and then wasn’t. In both cases it’s as though they’re in a hostage situation. Between the NSA collecting all electronic communications and the Clinton Foundation corrupting everyone it comes in contact with I don’t think these decisions are free and honest.

  5. Richard G Byrne
    July 9, 2016 at 9:54 pm #

    Most people with half a brain in their head (that excludes progressives and liberals) have said the same thing: the fix was in. I don’t know how, why or where from Comey has acquired such a reputation for purity and forthrightness? On this one, he just chickened out,choked and couldn’t bear pulling the trigger to slay the beast. Simple as that!

  6. Steverino
    July 9, 2016 at 10:01 pm #

    …..orrrrrr this was the bait, to be satisfied with, while the REAL charges are coming in the form of quid-pro-qou for donations to the foundation, and/or large speaking fees in exchange for State Dept. favors? This would be MUCH more devastating than lying to Congress.

  7. Tadpole46
    July 10, 2016 at 2:39 am #

    Hillary’s allies must have some personal dirt on Comey. Blackmail is standard operating procedure in Washington DC.

  8. Paul from Texas
    July 10, 2016 at 9:08 am #

    You’d think Hillary would have demanded a videotape of the interview be released to the public to prove her innocence. Heck, she could have used it in her campaign commercials.

    Can we get a copy of the questions she was asked?

  9. Soren Roquentin
    July 10, 2016 at 9:33 am #

    “cannot speak out”? Why? Why can’t anyone stand up for the country for once! EVERYONE has to goose-step the pos? Why?

    • Darryl Lussier
      September 25, 2016 at 8:52 am #

      Because they’re all cowards! The whole lot of em! Too worried about their jobs and care not for their country.
      Truly a sad state of affairs.

  10. Mike Montie
    July 10, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

    I watched the entire congressional hearing. Sad that to many of the Dems it was just a joke. When Comey said the interview was not recorded and so there was no transcript I was shocked. Did she answer every question? Did she invoke her rights to not answer, and if so how many times and to which questions? Wasn’t it a conflict of interest for Cheryl Mills to be in attendance? Without a transcript of the interview how do we know she didn’t lie? We are to believe the conclusions of 5 or 6 agents (Comey didn’t know exactly how many). I would think he should be able to name each one, in such an important interview.
    Very troubling.

    • Chris
      July 11, 2016 at 12:02 pm #

      Keep in mind of course…she cannot “invoke her right to not answer” for some things and not others. Thats not the way that works…

      Well…unless your name is Lois Lerner.

  11. Disgusted
    July 10, 2016 at 2:11 pm #

    The Justice Department should have appointed a special counsel a year and a half ago when it became clear that Mrs. Clinton had operated a personal server for government communications and had failed to comply with requirements for safeguarding national secrets and making records available to Congress and FOIA requests. And Congress should have insisted on a special counsel back then.

    Both Obama and his political-appointee Attorney General are in a conflict of interest with respect to applying the law against Obama’s political-appointee Secretary of State and likely Democrat nominee successor. Indeed, the Attorney General was appointed to her previous position as US Attorney by the suspect’s husband!

    The mainstream media let all of this go with a straight face, and never challenged the Attorney General’s absurd claim that her subordinate employees in the DOJ (“career prosecutors”) should somehow be considered “independent” of her.

    And the mainstream media was part of the propaganda campaign to portray FBI Director Comey (another Obama political appointee) as the functional equivalent of an independent prosecutor, and thereby conferred an undeserved aura of legitimacy on this corrupt process. Of course, he is neither independent of the Obama administration nor is he a prosecutor (the FBI is an investigatory agency, not a prosecutor).

  12. DaveGinOly
    July 10, 2016 at 5:46 pm #

    The quick turn-around after interviewing the target is explainable – the FBI only asked her about her grandchildren and yoga routines.

  13. JeffG
    July 10, 2016 at 7:01 pm #

    Please keep investigating. None of this makes any sense. Comey looked very unhappy during his press conference. Was he pressured or threatened into making the statement right after the non recorded Clinton interview and just before Clinton campaigned with Obama? What about Clinton’s lies to Congress? What about the criminal organization known as the Clinton Foundation?

  14. Lee
    July 10, 2016 at 10:52 pm #

    Judicial watch has requested the interview transcripts. They may get them in 75 years or so. Another reason for not voting for a clinton, but I wouldn’t have done that anyway. The rest of the voters are not that bright, I’m afraid.

  15. Don Saliman
    July 11, 2016 at 8:10 am #

    You peasants have not the right to question but suck it up and learn to live with it.

    Mrs. Clinton is way above you all and me, we have to live by the law, even if we are ignorant of the law, (I didn’t’ know to kill someone is against the law )

    Hillary is way above that, she can do whatever she wants and you peasants cannot.

    I only hope now is that Trump wins and his AG and his new head of the FBI, will find her guilty

  16. Debbie Burton
    July 11, 2016 at 9:43 am #

    The FBI needs to exercise their First Amendment Rights and speak th truth. The American Citizens know the truth, we are not ignorant but want to hear it from our LEADERS. Seriously, how long do they intend to LIE for the CLINTONS. This is a crime of the most heinous kind, we need not worry about what our enemies think, THEY ALREADY KNOW!

    Director Comey, twenty years of investigating the CLINTONS and you still don’t have the courage to SPEAK?

  17. Pugnacious Pete
    July 11, 2016 at 11:41 am #

    I call it not much more than a 3.5 hr card game, where everybody sat around getting their lies straight.

  18. Charles
    July 11, 2016 at 11:35 pm #

    To Congress saw the setup with Bill Clinton & Loretta Lynch? Nobody saw the under the table deal with Comey and the Clinton’s? Comey sold this country out by letting Hillary walk! He’s got evidence of destroying public records off her private server. He’s got evidence of her lying to Congress. They have enough circumstanceal evidence to put her away for 5 years. But you cannot convict a crooked politician and alter history in this country. If anything, Hillary should have her security clearance pulled for gross negligence in handling secure information while she was SOS! Comey will absorb some harsh criticism from politicians, fellow FBI, media outlets, brush it off and wait for the cush job that’s been promised! But then he also has to look in the mirror everyday the rest of his life! Just hope Jason Chavettz, and Trey Gowdy don’t let this bs circus to just fade away

  19. jeffery tartt
    July 13, 2016 at 12:16 am #

    Dear Sharyl,
    Thanks for the story. I would like for you to let your F B I insiders know this. I find their inability to come out and speak up for the people just as disgusting as I view Hillary, Comey and Lynch. Anyone on the inside with info that could blow this case open is a coward, period. To say one is afraid to lose their job if they speak up is cowardly and unacceptable. “Leave it to the people to decide” Bull! Do your job and step up for the people of this country.

    • Bill Abernathy
      July 14, 2016 at 3:05 pm #

      Nice statement and I completely agree.

      • Lory Hotchkiss
        July 27, 2016 at 5:17 pm #

        I third that statement. Wherever two or more concur, it shall be heard. I wish that was snarky. I think the most intelligent people and/or those in or retired from, government service, can all stand bewildered. These actions if “hrc” were illegal in the 80’s and 90’s, and during my dads Army tenure 50’s – 70’s. We know shes guilty. Wish that were enough.

  20. Joe Plumber
    July 13, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

    Looks / sounds / smells like the Fall of Rome, redux.

  21. Joe Plumber
    July 13, 2016 at 1:22 pm #

    Also – why does everyone ignore the high likelihood there were a lot more things on those servers than just mishandled emails regarding the country.

    IE – Follow the Money. The Clinton Crime Syndicate .. the library… the connection between money and those mails…

    Or just other deals done which have been in the dubious caterogory spotlight for years.
    Whitewater, Rosewater, Vince Foster, The Clinton Library, Tyson Foods, etc. etc.

    To assume this was was all created by ‘carelessness’ on the part of Hillary is what is really getting to everyone. she has publicly demonstrated she is anything BUT careless.

    Again… we’re standing on a hill in ancient Rome, the Senate is throwing a party for themselves… the food, the girls, the money… and the rest of Rome lives aware of how good it is to be in the Emporer’s good graces…

    Will it take the US a thousand years to recover?

  22. Richard Matthews
    July 14, 2016 at 8:38 am #

    “It is better to live one day as a lion than 1000 days as a sheep”. I think that the American public would have had the utmost of respect for Director Comey had the “criminal” investigation of Hillary Clinton been done ethically, completely and in an unbiased fashion. The FBI should have followed the leads and let the investigation go wherever it led. Having had been in law enforcement for 33 years, I will tell you that this investigation did not pass the smell test. Your short analysis (above) provides some of the salient markers of a poor investigation. I do believe that the Director was twisting in the wind. I also truly believe that he is an honorable man, but if he was being forced to sign-off on a bastardized investigation, I would have expected his dignified resignation in lieu of being a part of the dog and pony show. How humiliating; for him and for the citizens of the United States. He will forever be known as the Garo Yeppremian of law enforcement. He tried to pass off a stinker after he muffed the punt. Also, thank you very much for your continued intuitive reporting. Your work is outstanding.

  23. Bill Abernathy
    July 14, 2016 at 3:11 pm #

    Comey is well-respected by politicians in both political parties – Not any more! He just made himself part of problem instead part of solution. When you let a criminal walk then you become a criminal.

  24. John F Public
    July 29, 2016 at 10:44 am #

    The similarities of corruption regarding this story and the Lance Armstrong case are eerie. Surrounded by surrogates/lawyers to stifle any criticism, plenty of money to hush would-be tattletales, investigations that have all the evidence but go nowhere, hiding behind a foundation (although I am not suggesting Livestrong is itself corrupt), friendly press who just don’t want to admit there is a “there” there, the outright denials that proved to be true.

    The only thing missing here is a “Floyd Landis” who has had enough and willing to testify. Brian Pagliano was supposed to be that person. Someone got to him. If you have Netflix, watch “Stop at Nothing” and see how Stephanie McIlvain bowed to the pressure. Also read “Cycle of Lies” by Juliet Macur. ..see the Big Short, etc. If we can believe the corruption happened in those stories, why not this one?

    This is a big middle finger to the public. Is the media cover just too great?

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