U.S. Attorney John Durham seems primed to release a blockbuster report on the FBI’s 2016 Trump-Russia collusion probe in October, just before the 2020 election. President Donald Trump has dubbed to the FBI abuses in that probe the “Obamagate” scandal. While Durham’s investigation has focused on the FBI probe into potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, The New York Times reported that Durham has also sought documents involving the FBI’s probe into potential corruption involving the Clinton Foundation. The Times reporters claimed that this move is politically motivated.
Durham “has sought documents and interviews about how federal law enforcement officials handled an investigation around the same time into allegations of political corruption at the Clinton Foundation, according to people familiar with the matter,” The Times reported.
“Mr. Durham’s team members have suggested to others that they are comparing the two investigations as well as examining whether investigators in the Russia inquiry flouted laws or policies,” the report added. “It was not clear whether Mr. Durham’s investigators were similarly looking for violations in the Clinton Foundation investigation, nor whether the comparison would be included or play a major role in the outcome of Mr. Durham’s inquiry.”
Sources told The Times that such an approach is “highly unusual,” but it also was highly unusual for the FBI under Barack Obama to open an investigation into the Republican presidential candidate running against Obama’s chosen successor. Was it not unusual for FBI agents to text one another that Trump would not win because “we’ll stop it”?
Naturally, The Times emphasized the concerns of Democrats that the Durham investigation “is being weaponized politically to help Mr. Trump.” Congressional Democrats have called for an investigation of the investigation of the investigation, seeking to ensure that “Durham’s review was free from political influence.”
Foreign governments appear to have considered donations to the Clinton Foundation as a path to influencing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The FBI investigation launched after news of the notorious Uranium One deal, which Clinton voted to approve after Uranium One’s chairman directed $2.35 million in contributions to the Clinton Foundation.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), where Clinton (as secretary of State) had a vote, rushed to approve the sale of Uranium One — a Canadian company with control over 20 percent of U.S. uranium — to the Russian company Rosatom. The FBI was investigating Rosatom at the time, but then-FBI Director Robert Mueller decided to keep that investigation secret. Despite the FBI investigation, CFIUS fast-tracked the Uranium One approval, finishing it in 52 days, rather than the mandatory 75-day review process.
The FBI also rushed to arrest a ring of Russian spies as they got “cose” to “a sitting US cabinet member,” likely Hillary Clinton.
Notably, FBI agent Peter Strzok, notorious for his anti-Trump bias, delayed his investigation of the Clinton emails discovered on laptop of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.). The FBI discovered the emails in September 2016, but the FBI did not act on the emails until a U.S. attorney forced the department to consider them. On October 28, a mere eleven days before the presidential election, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter informing Congress of the discovery of Clinton emails on the laptop. Some political observers have claimed that this letter contributed to Clinton’s loss in the election.
Ironically, Strzok’s decision not to investigate the emails immediately — potentially motivated by pro-Clinton bias — contributed to Clinton’s defeat.
A deal between the Obama DOJ and the Clinton Foundation barred the FBI from accessing Clinton Foundation emails on Clinton’s private server.
The New York Times minimized any hint of scandal at the Clinton Foundation, despite that fact that the paper itself exposed many of the foundation’s scandals. “The allegations against Mrs. Clinton were advanced in the book “Clinton Cash,” by Peter Schweizer, a senior editor at large at Breitbart News, the right-wing outlet once controlled by Mr. Trump’s former top aide Stephen K. Bannon. The book contained multiple errors, and the foundation has dismissed its allegations,” the Times reporters wrote.
“The New York Times is an advocacy organization,” Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, told PJ Media in response to questions about the Times report. As for the claims against the Clinton Foundation, he insisted, “They’re not disproven. Is The New York Times disavowing its prior reporting on the foundation and Uranium One? They had the initial big story on it, I recall.”
“Here you have the Left trying to controversialize the report,” Fitton added, referring to Durham’s forthcoming Obamagate report. He insisted that the DOJ should reopen the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private, insecure server. Judicial Watch has disclosed evidence that Clinton stored classified information on that server.
“The Clinton email investigation was corruptly handled and should be reopened,” Fitton told PJ Media. Yet he lamented that the DOJ “right now is trying to shut down any inquiry into the Clinton email case. Does the right hand know what the left hand is doing? It’s a crying shame that we’re spending our time fighting the Justice Department to know what Clinton was up to.”
While Fitton expressed his hope that Durham’s investigation will reveal the truth, he also expressed skepticism. “We should be concerned about whether or not there are going to be prosecutions and why haven’t there been,” the Judicial Watch president said.
“If the DOJ hadn’t been investigating the Clinton Foundation and the email investigation, then that would be a problem,” he added. As for the Times‘ obfuscation, he warned that “the Left’s position is that people in power in the Democratic Party are immune from criminal investigation. That’s their position. The Justice Department is happy to take that approach. They did it for Clinton, they did it for Biden.”
Neither Durham’s office nor the DOJ’s national office responded to PJ Media’s requests for comment.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.