Former FBI Director James Comey started to draft a statement exonerating Hillary Clinton in the bureau’s investigation into her use of a private email server before the FBI interviewed her or her key witnesses, the Senate Judiciary Committee said Thursday.
“Conclusion first, fact-gathering second — that’s no way to run an investigation. The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Judiciary Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in a letter to the FBI.
The Judiciary Committee reviewed transcripts, which were heavily redacted, indicating Comey began drafting the exoneration statement in April or May 2016, before the FBI interviewed up to 17 key witnesses, including Clinton and some of her close aides.
Comey’s work on the statement also came before the Justice Department entered into immunity agreements with Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff while she was Secretary of State, and Heather Samuelson, who served as the State Department’s White House liaison.
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