An attorney in New York City thinks former President Obama may still be running the FBI after the bureau cited a “lack of public interest” in rejecting an open records request related to its investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Ty Clevenger filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request way back in March of 2016 asking for a variety of documents from the FBI and the Justice Department as part of an ongoing effort to get Clinton and her personal attorneys disbarred for mishandling official emails during her tenure as secretary of state.
The FBI shot down Clevenger’s request for information from the FBI’s files using the flimsiest of excuses.
“You have not sufficiently demonstrated that the public’s interest in disclosure outweighs personal privacy interests of the subject,” FBI records management section chief David M. Hardy told Mr. Clevenger in a letter Monday.
“It is incumbent upon the requester to provide documentation regarding the public’s interest in the operations and activities of the government before records can be processed pursuant to the FOIA,” Mr. Hardy wrote.
Mrs. Clinton, is the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, former chief diplomat, former U.S. senator, and former first lady of both the U.S. and Arkansas.
Her use of a secret email account to conduct government business while leading the State Department was front-page news for much of 2015 and 2016, and was so striking that the then-FBI director broke with procedure and made both a public statement and appearances before Congress to talk about the bureau’s probe.
In the end, the FBI didn’t recommend charges against Mrs. Clinton, concluding that while she risked national security, she was too technologically inept to know the dangers she was running, so no case could be made against her.
Clevenger told the Times that he thought it was obvious why Mrs. Clinton’s case was of public interest, but he went ahead and sent the bureau documentation of congressional requests for an investigation into whether Clinton perjured herself anyway.
“I’m just stunned. This is exactly what I would have expected had Mrs. Clinton won the election, but she didn’t. It looks like the Obama administration is still running the FBI,” Mr. Clevenger told the Times. “How can a story receive national news coverage and not be a matter of public interest? If this is the new standard, then there’s no such thing as a public interest exception,” he said.
“It’s an absolute joke,” said former Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) on Fox News Wednesday morning. “The reality is, they do the exact same thing to Congress.”
The deep state will do everything it can to protect its own. There is no reason why those documents should be held from the public — but they also aren’t giving them to Congress. I issued a subpoena on this information! “There were congressional inquiries and they still didn’t give those documents.
The former House Oversight chairman added that “when she was secretary of state and she’s creating these public records — these government records — that’s in the public purview — the public should be able to see those….These are documents that are federal records!”
He said that a congressional subpoena is not worth the paper it’s printed on because “you have to go back to the Department of Justice” to get them to enforce that subpoena which is problematic since the DOJ is the one being investigated.
“They’re afraid of the courts. They’re not afraid of Congress,” Chaffetz continued.
He called out Congressman John Culberson (R-TX), the head of the House Appropriations Committee, for not using the power of the purse against departments to force them to comply with requests. “He isn’t going to do anything on this and they know that, and so they don’t do anything! There’s no repercussions,” Chaffetz complained.
“I thought it would change with the Trump administration — it has not!” Chaffetz concluded sadly. “It’s exactly the same because the deep state just doesn’t want to have this information out there.”