The House Oversight & Government Reform Committee has opened an investigation that could spell more trouble for Former FBI Director James Comey.
According to The Washington Examiner, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), is heading the investigation and has decided to sit with Comey for a private interview regarding the DOJ’s decision about the Hillary Clinton private email scandal. Gowdy wants to grill Comey personally as to why he seemingly planned to exonerate Hillary Clinton before the investigation was finalized.
Gowdy maintains that the investigation will remain bipartisan, but questions need to be answered. Specifically regarding, “the decision to charge or not charge [Clinton] was made before all the witnesses were interviewed.”
According to Fox News, the FBI released evidence that former-FBI Director James Comey had seemingly planned to exonerate Clinton before the investigation was over. Months before the public announcement that Clinton would not face criminal charges, and before all witnesses were questioned, Comey drafted a letter of Clinton’s exoneration.
Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray expressing their concerns, “It appears that in April or early May of 2016, Mr. Comey had already decided he would issue a statement exonerating Secretary Clinton. That was long before FBI agents finished their work.”
They say that such a conclusion should not have been made until all the facts were gathered and that jumping to such a conclusion may have altered the results, stating, “The outcome of an investigation should not be prejudged while FBI agents are still hard at work trying to gather the facts.”
While some on the Left may criticize the investigation as a partisan distraction, Rep. Gowdy maintains that the questions the investigation seeks to answer will benefit both Republicans and Democrats, “Of the six things we listed with specificity, three of them are things Democrats gave a big damn about last fall. So, the question is, do they still? And three of them are things that Republicans cared about a lot last year, and the question is, do they still?”
He continued by clarifying that investigators plan to go where the evidence takes them, “Gather documents, gather access to witnesses, do your due diligence, and your investigation and see where it takes you.”
Interestingly, Rep. Gowdy says the investigation wouldn’t change whether Clinton was found guilty of criminal activity, “No, not at all, any more than James Comey can unsend a letter that he sent in October.”
But the investigation would provide a necessary review for the questionable decisions made during the investigation, “All of them are things that have caused people to lose confidence in the Department of Justice, on one side or the other, and there may be an eminently plausible explanation,” Mr. Gowdy said. “Comey may have a really good explanation for why he felt like he had to send a letter in October and there was no other means of notifying Congress, but we need to hear it.”
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Mr. Gowdy says Comey will not face a public hearing, but instead a private interview, which should be much faster, “I’m not a hearing guy. I’m a five hours guy, not a five minutes guy, so, not a hearing.”
Whether or not this investigation will have a domino effect on the initial determination that Clinton was innocent of any criminal wrongdoing is debatable. It could, however, prove disastrous for Comey if he planned to exonerate her before all the facts were in.