×
FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
June 14, 2018

Former FBI Director James Comey may have had nothing to say about the revelation in Thursday's Justice Department inspector general's report that he used a private gmail account to conduct official FBI business, but Hillary Clinton — whose campaign, that same inspector general's report suggested, was hurt badly by Comey's poor judgment during the FBI investigation of Clinton's use of private email to conduct government business — had a pithy reply.

Touché. Peter Weber

June 14, 2018
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

On Thursday afternoon, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will release his long-anticipated report on the FBI and Justice Department's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. The report is expected to criticize former FBI Director James Comey for violating longstanding DOJ policies by criticizing Clinton's email use while announcing the FBI found no wrongdoing and then publicly reopening the investigation a week before the 2016 election. Horowitz may also criticize former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe — the report already contributed to his firing — and others. When he launched the investigation in January 2017, however, Horowitz made clear he would not second-guess the decision to not press charges against Clinton. Clinton and others have said Comey's actions cost her the election. Peter Weber

November 6, 2017
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

New memos presented to Congress on Monday show that former FBI Director James Comey initially planned to call Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information "grossly negligent," The Hill reports. An early draft of Comey's statement on the investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server made the claim — which carries legal implications — but Comey eventually softened the language.

The version of the memo released Monday that called Clinton "grossly negligent" was apparently written weeks before Comey's July 2016 press conference, where he ultimately called Clinton's use of a private email server "extremely careless." Comey at the time also recommended no criminal charges against the former secretary of state, because although there was "evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information," he said "no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case."

The Hill notes that the change in language may have had significant consequences in the decision not to charge Clinton with a crime, as "gross negligence in handling the nation's intelligence can be punished criminally with prison time or fines." A source who spoke anonymously to The Hill said that Comey's chief of staff Jim Rybicki, along with the FBI's deputy director Andrew McCabe and general counsel James Baker, were involved in the drafting of the statement.

In August, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that they had received partial interview transcripts that showed Comey had started drafting a statement rejecting criminal charges for Clinton about two months before the FBI interviewed her regarding her private email server. Kelly O'Meara Morales

October 25, 2017
Jack Taylor/Getty Images

In an email he wrote last year, Alexander Nix, the head of Cambridge Analytica, a data-analytics firm hired by President Trump's campaign, said he had contacted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about how he could help WikiLeaks release some of Hillary Clinton's deleted emails, The Daily Beast reports.

Two people familiar with the congressional investigation into ties between Trump associates and the Russian government told The Daily Beast that Nix wrote this email to a third party, and revealed that Assange told him he did not want his help because he liked to do his work solo. If Nix's claims are true, this is the closest known connection between Trump's campaign and Assange.

WikiLeaks published hacked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, and Trump was quick to praise the site throughout the campaign; PolitiFact says he mentioned WikiLeaks 137 times before the election. Cambridge Analytica did not respond to The Daily Beast's request for comment, but Assange did, saying, "We can confirm an approach by Cambridge Analytica and can confirm that it was rejected by WikiLeaks." Clinton used a private server while secretary of state, and it's unclear if the 33,000 emails that were deleted were ever hacked or if anyone has them, a person close to the congressional investigation told The Daily Beast. Catherine Garcia