Leaks would spring from the FBI if officials believed that the bureau took it easy on Hillary Clinton for political reasons, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley said Friday.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting in Des Moines, the Iowa Republican said that while he would not want the FBI to leak information about its investigation into Clinton’s private email server, information would likely seep out if it was perceived that the bureau decided not to issue indictments because of politics.
“Is there going to be political interference? If there’s enough evidence to prosecute, will there be political interference?” Grassley asked aloud during his remarks at the meeting, the Des Moines Register reported.
“And if there’s political interference, then I assume that somebody in the FBI is going to leak these reports and it’s either going to have an effect politically or it’s going to lead to prosecution if there’s enough evidence.”
A member of the audience had asked Grassley about the numerous probes into Clinton’s emails and into the Benghazi attacks. Grassley’s committee is also investigating the Clinton email setup, including whether the former secretary of state used her private email system to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests while at the State Department.
According to the Register, a reporter followed up with Grassley to ask him if he believed that the FBI should leak information about its investigation.
“I wouldn’t be encouraging it because if it’s a violation of law, I can’t be encouraging a violation of law,” he said. “This is kind of my own opinion, this is something I’ve heard.”
The FBI is reportedly close to wrapping up its investigation, which centers on whether classified information was mishandled on Clinton’s server. Several Clinton aides — and Clinton herself — will reportedly be interviewed at some point in the near future.
FBI director James Comey has insisted that the investigation will not be politicized.