The now infamous report that former FBI Director James Comey delivered regarding former Secretary of State Clinton’s private email server and culpability has now been called into question. Wisconsin Senator, Ron Johnson (R), has written an open letter to FBI head Christopher Wray highlighting the fact that the original report was heavily edited. He suggests it was done in a manner that acted to favor Hillary Clinton over then-candidate Trump.
The editing that took place could be argued as either making the report more precise or actively looking to cover up criminality depending on your perspective. There are two main areas that stand out.
The first refers to the likelihood of Hillary Clinton’s private email server being used for issues of national security. Whether or not “foreign actors” compromised the server and accessed sensitive information. In the report Comey delivered, this was listed as merely a “possibility.” In the original, unedited report, it stated that it was “reasonably likely” that hostile actors gained access.
The second and more damning edit refers to Hillary Clinton’s culpability in this issue of National Security. The edited report describes her actions as “extremely careless.” The original report described her actions as “grossly negligent.” The key issue being that carelessness is not necessarily a criminal offense, “Grossly negligent” is the exact wording in the statute that denotes criminality. That specific wording carries with it a series of possible charges. Gross negligence references were edited from the report multiple times.
It turns out that some of these edits were made by Peter Strzok, who also took part in Hillary Clinton’s “interview” with the FBI. Strzok was part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, until being removed text messages revealed an extreme bias against President Trump.
Johnson sums up the clear case of political maneuvering in his letter. He writes:
“This effort, seen in light of the personal animus toward then-candidate Trump by senior FBI agents leading the Clinton investigation and their apparent desire to create an ‘insurance policy’ against Mr. Trump’s election, raise profound questions about the FBI’s role and possible interference in the 2016 presidential election and the role of the same agents in Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation by President Trump.”
Strzok, who has exhibited a clear Pro-Clinton bias, played a pivotal role in her exoneration report. This report was then not questioned further, but presented by then-head of the FBI James Comey as an actual fair report and assessment.
Many now question the validity of the report and seek an impartial team appointed to investigate the edited initial claims of “gross negligence.” Concerns were also raised by references to an “insurance policy” against Donald Trump in Strzok’s text messages.
Mark is a political writer and journalist who has worked on campaigns for Brexit.