FBI failed to respond to an October 2018 Freedom of Information Act request seeking more information about secretive…
Fox News: The FBI failed to respond to an October 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking more information about secretive communications in late 2016 between a top Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer and the bureau’s then-general counsel, according to the transparency group Judicial Watch.
Additionally, the group said, the FBI has ignored September 2018 FOIA requests concerning bureau communications with, and payments to, British ex-spy Christopher Steele — who authored the infamous anti-Trump dossier.
In response, Judicial Watch announced Tuesday it has filed lawsuits seeking the full release of all relevant documents. The flurry of litigation comes just days before Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report is set to be publicly released, with some redactions.
Separately on Tuesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham was joined by Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson in sending a letter to the Justice Department demanding the release of information concerning the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s private email server, known as the “Midyear Exam” probe.
“In May of 2016, around the same time then-FBI Director James Comey was drafting a statement exonerating Clinton, the FBI’s Midyear team wrote a memo seeking DOJ permission to review highly-classified information ‘necessary to complete the investigation,’ according to the unclassified [DOJ Inspector General] report,” the chairmen wrote.
“However, the memo was never sent to DOJ and the Midyear investigation was closed shortly thereafter,” the chairmen added. “The classified annex [of the DOJ IG report] includes additional detail about the information in question, its potential relevance to the Midyear investigation and the FBI’s justification for failing to review it.”
Now that Mueller’s investigation has concluded, the chairmen wrote that they were renewing their previously rejected requests for “details on the FBI’s decision not to seek potentially-relevant information during the Midyear investigation.”
The Mueller report’s Thursday release is expected to shed more light on the Russia investigation’s conclusions that the Trump campaign did not improperly collude with Russia, despite multiple attempts by Russian-affiliated individuals to involve the Trump team in computer hacking.
The ongoing litigation and document requests could provide more information on the beginnings of the Russia investigation, which Republicans have charged was tainted with visible anti-Trump bias from the start.
“How and why did the FBI pay Christopher Steele, who was already being funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC through Fusion GPS?” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton asked in announcing the lawsuits. “That we had to sue for this basic information shows the FBI may have something more to hide.”
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