Politics

Report: DOJ Told FBI To Ignore ‘Gross Negligence’ As Reason To Charge Clinton Over Emails

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David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reportedly instructed the FBI to ignore “gross negligence” as a reason for charging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server to conduct classified government business.

The direction might have enabled the DOJ to ensure a favorable outcome for the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s email, the Epoch Times reported Monday regarding private testimony it says it has obtained.

Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton leaves after she testified before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 22, 2015. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton leaves after she testified before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, Oct. 22, 2015. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Private congressional testimony discussed an email reportedly sent from a nameless individual in the FBI general counsel’s office to Bill Priestap, the bureau’s assistant director of counterintelligence. The correspondence dictated the “available statutes for prosecuting the former Secretary of State,” and these did not include “gross negligence,” according to the Epoch Times. (RELATED: Will Hillary Ever Be Charged For Her Emails? James Comey Says Zero Chance)

Ryan Breitenbach, who was then the House majority counsel, expressed bewilderment that gross negligence was not included in the reasons for charging Clinton while the same criterion was utilized to issue a search warrant to gather information in the Clinton investigation.

Priestap replied that he could not say who sent the email or why the phrase “DOJ not willing to charge this” was inserted in the instructions.

Former FBI Director James Comey, who testified before Congress that he did not believe there was sufficient reason to charge Clinton, later admitted at a July 2016 news conference that someone of less political stature than the former first lady might be charged.

Former FBI Director James Comey is sworn in prior to testifying before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Former FBI Director James Comey is sworn in prior to testifying before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The Epoch Times also reported that during the same closed testimony, others suggested that the DOJ was intimately involved in the FBI investigation into the Clinton emails. Lisa Page, a lawyer who worked for Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe at the time, noted the extent of that involvement. (RELATED: Andrew McCabe: Rod Rosenstein Was ‘Absolutely Serious’ About Wearing A Wire During Trump Meeting)

“Everybody talks about this as if this was the FBI investigation, and the truth of the matter is there was not a single step, other than the July 5th statement, there was not a single investigative step that we did not do in consultation with or at the direction of the Justice Department,” Page told congressional investigators on July 13, 2018.

Clinton’s unauthorized email server remains a subject of hot political scrutiny. A federal court recently asserted that Clinton must answer more questions about her emails.

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