Fox News reports that the FBI’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation, an investigation that’s been going on for more than a year, now has a “very high priority.” According to Fox’s sources, FBI agents have interviewed and re-interviewed multiple people (some for the third time) in the Foundation case to determine whether there was a “pay to play” interaction between then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. The FBI’s White Collar Crime Division is handling the investigation.
Fox says that FBI agents are “actively and aggressively pursuing this case.” In addition to the interviews and re-interviews, agents are reviewing what Clinton and top aides said in previous interviews to see whether their stories align.
Here are five tidbits, some related to the Clinton Foundation and some not, from Fox’s report:
1. The Clinton Foundation investigation is far more expansive than anybody has reported so far and has been going on for more than a year.
2. The laptops of Clinton aides Cherryl Mills and Heather Samuelson have not been destroyed, and agents are currently combing through them.
3. Agents have found emails believed to have originated on Hillary Clinton’s secret server on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. They say the emails are not duplicates and could potentially be classified in nature.
4. Sources within the FBI say that an indictment is “likely” in the case of pay to play at the Clinton Foundation “barring some obstruction in some way.”
5. FBI sources say with 99 percent accuracy that Hillary Clinton’s server has been hacked by at least five foreign intelligence agencies, and that information had been taken from it.
I take some of these items with a grain of salt. Those divulging this information to Fox News may have their own agenda.
According to reports, deep internal divisions exist within the FBI and the DOJ. Some at the FBI believe that top brass at their agency and at the Justice Department have exerted improper influence to hamstring or curb a serious criminal investigation.
The leaks to Fox News are probably the product of this dispute and the frustration it has engendered. This doesn’t mean they are untrue, but the leakers may be overstating some things.
On the other hand, WikiLeaks documents tend to corroborate allegations of “pay to play” at the Clinton State Department. It’s also possible that Huma Abedin documents on the newly discovered devices do so, as well. Thus, I find it implausible that investigation of the Clinton Foundation has picked up steam in the past month or so.
Will the investigation result in an indictment of Hillary Clinton? Don’t count on it. The statement to Fox News that there will be an indictment “barring some obstruction in some way” begs the question.
It’s quite likely that obstruction will occur at some level — either by Comey or by DOJ. Why would Comey be more inclined to indict Hillary in the Clinton Foundation matter than he was in the email scandal, where the very evidence he outlined to the public would, in the view of many (including me) have supported prosecution?
I assume that Comey didn’t want to influence the election by prosecuting one of the two main candidates. Will he be more inclined to prosecute the candidate chosen to lead our country by the electorate?
Second, as I understand it, Fox’s source didn’t say Hillary would be indicted (barring obstruction). It may be her “gatekeepers” like Abedin who take any fall. An indictment might also be based on giving false statements to the FBI, in which case the target could any of a number of people.
In any event, Fox News’ story will help keep the kettle boiling in the final days of what may yet turn out to be a very close election.