EXCLUSIVE: It’s Full-Bore Ahead For FBI’s Clinton Foundation Probe
FBI agents across the country are continuing to actively pursue a broad political corruption investigation of the Clinton Foundation, a probe that is consuming the resources in the FBI’s Little Rock, Ark., field office where every agent assigned to public corruption matters now is working on the case, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.
“Everybody’s working the foundation in Little Rock,” a former senior FBI official told TheDCNF. There at least 10 agents involved, but it’s possible the Little Rock field office is “pulling bodies from other programs.”
The official previously told TheDCNF that an unprecedented FBI probe of the foundation was being waged in multiple cities, which TheDCNF reported in August. The other cities involved in the probe include New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Miami.
Little Rock is important to the investigation because the Clinton Foundation was founded there in 1997 in that state’s capital where Bill Clinton served multiple terms as governor. The controversial charity was originally registered there and was granted federal tax exemption solely for the purpose of building and operating Clinton’s presidential library.
Within a few years, however, the charity opened its largest office in New York City and dramatically expanded its operations on a global scale. (RELATED: Clinton Foundation Deceived The IRS On Tax Exemption From The Start)
The Justice Department has refused to cooperate with foundation investigation, the official told TheDCNF. “You need a prosecutor. And as we were going into this election season, this DOJ was not prepared to fully support the FBI’s tool box. I think that’s a big piece of the friction,” he said.
New York appears to be the city where the probe has slowed, but is still being undertaken by the FBI despite Justice Department resistance.
“The Eastern District of New York basically put a pause on doing any overt activity. Basically it put everything on hold. That’s the prosecutor’s office. But it’s not the FBI,” the official said. “They are not in the position to tell us, ‘no don’t do that interview.’ But they can certainly slow you down by not giving you the use of subpoenas or not empaneling a grand jury.”
He also warned not to expect any indictments soon.
“I do not think that this is anywhere close to indictment in any district to my knowledge,” he said.
And although many agents in the bureau disagree with FBI Director James Comey’s decision not to recommend an indictment of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for her use of a private home-brew server at her New York residence, the official told TheDCNF there is no rebellion among agents, either at FBI headquarters or in the field offices.
“There’s a small group. I think it’s a relatively small group of very loud people who are outside and disconnected from the FBI. They’re seeing it from a distance. They’re angry but they’re less informed,” he said.
The official told TheDCNF that Comey still enjoys widespread support among rank-and-file agents both within the FBI headquarters and in its field offices.
“Reports about agents turning their backs while Comey is walking down the hall are wrong, patently false. There is strong support for Jim Comey in the building. There’s no stack of resignation letters on his desk waiting to be signed,” the official said.
“Yes, there are guys scratching their heads, saying, ‘why did you go as far as you in July?’ You know, we were all expecting him to say, ‘we’re going to recommend indictment,’ then he backed away. That is unprecedented, so there is some gnashing of teeth.”
But he asserted that, “Jim Comey enjoys strong support from the workforce.”
The Washington probe is being conducted by the FBI field office for the Eastern District of Virginia where many Washington prosecutions are pursued.
In New York, the FBI office in the Eastern District of New York appears to be taking the lead where U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch once served as a U.S. Attorney. The U.S. attorney there now is career federal prosecutor Robert Capers, who officially assumed his duties in January of this year.
Los Angeles originally raised the issue of corruption, according to the Wall Street Journal. Agents in the Southern California city picked up information about the Clinton Foundation from an unrelated public corruption case and had issued some subpoenas for bank records related to the foundation.
The Journal’s sources confirmed that the FBI probe is in many American cities and described the unusual field office initiative as “at times a sprawling cross-country effort.”
Miami may be focusing on the foundation’s activities in Haiti. “Miami is what the FBI regards as one the extraterritorial offices. They have equities in the Caribbean,” the official told TheDCNF.
Christopher M. Allen, an FBI spokesman, declined to comment.
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