Senator Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the powerful Judiciary Committee, made a shocking discovery after his team of investigators analyzed the electronic files containing former FBI Director James Comey’s memo, acquitting Hillary Clinton of all wrongdoing.
Early drafts of the former FBI Director James Comey’s remarks about the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of the private email server acknowledged that there was overwhelming evidence that she had violated a federal statute prohibiting “gross negligence,” but that exact – and important – legal phrase was removed from the final draft.
Since July, Grassley has been seeking to understand why the FBI didn’t pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton, as part of the probe into her use of an unauthorized and unsecured email server. Comey’s infamous announcement, declaring that he wouldn’t recommend charges, puzzled many – as it seemed he laid out a PERFECT case for why Clinton should be charged with “gross negligence,” at the least.
The Iowa Republican on Monday said the FBI had recently turned over the records relating to the then-Director Comey’s statement. The FBI included in those documents what Grassley had said appeared to be a May 2, 2016 draft of Comey’s exoneration statement.
The draft was written almost two months before the Comey’s July 5, 2016 press conference in which he had said that he did not believe in Clinton having broken any laws even though she had been “extremely careless” in her handling of sensitive, highly classified material.
In the draft in question, Grassley also said that the Comey’s statement included the following sentence: “There is evidence to support a conclusion that Secretary Clinton, and others, used the private email server in a manner that was grossly negligent with respect to the handling of classified material.”
The same draft included the sentence: “Similarly, the sheer volume of information that was properly classified as Secret at the time it was discussed on email (that is, excluding the ‘up classified’ emails) support an inference that the participants were grossly negligent in their handling of that information.”
Grassley had asked for more details about the documents, including the copies of the drafts in their original format and all records that are relating to discussions about why the edits were made, in a letter sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray Monday.
“As you are aware, 18 U.S.C. 793(f) makes the mishandling of classified material through gross negligence a criminal act,” Grassley wrote in the letter. “Although Director Comey’s original version of his statement acknowledged that Secretary Clinton had violated the statute prohibiting gross negligence in the handling of classified information, he nonetheless exonerated her in that early May 2nd draft statement anyway, arguing that this part of the statute should not be enforced.”
Grassley said later edits, “on or around about June 10” removed those two sentences and included the following sentence instead: “Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”
So, only one question remains – when do we ‘Lock Her Up’?