According to newly released documents and interviews with former Justice Department officials, the Clinton Foundation investigation, which centered on its interactions with foreign donors while Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state, was ongoing for the majority of President Donald Trump’s administration.
According to closing documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, the matter was resolved days before Trump left office, as reported by the New York Times on Monday.
The investigation continued despite FBI agents and prosecutors steering it down a dead end because it was the subject of intense media attention and Trump’s campaign promises to “lock her up.” Republicans used the lengthy investigation as a rallying statement because they believed they would uncover evidence of corruption that would harm Clinton’s political prospects.
After the publication of Republican author Peter Schweizer’s book “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich” in 2015, the Clinton Foundation became the subject of additional scrutiny. The book examined the contributions made by international organizations to the foundation. In exchange for substantial contributions to the foundation, Clinton was accused by Republicans of engaging in a quid pro quo by supporting the sale of Uranium One, a Canadian company with ties to American mining.
Based exclusively on hearsay, the FBI opened a preliminary investigation in 2016 based on the claims made in the book. The FBI opened new investigations in Little Rock, Arkansas, and New York based on information from an anonymous source. FBI agents became agitated when the Justice Department questioned the veracity of their investigations. Even some prosecutors believed that the book by Schweizer had lost its credibility.
The conflict between the FBI and Justice Department had significant effects on how the Clinton Foundation investigation was conducted. It contributed to the dismissal of Andrew G. McCabe, the deputy director of the FBI, who was suspected of disclosing and then lying about case details. The Department of Justice was unable to file charges against McCabe.
New York agents merged the investigation in August 2016, but prosecutors chose not to issue subpoenas. Prior to its transfer to Little Rock, the investigation appeared to be inactive. In 2018, prosecutors issued a subpoena to the foundation and interviewed its former chief financial officer. The matter was ultimately resolved by Little Rock prosecutors in January 2021, and the FBI received a declination memo in August 2021 indicating the conclusion of the investigation.
“All of the evidence obtained during the course of this investigation has been returned or otherwise destroyed,” the FBI said in the memo.
President of Judicial Watch Tom Fitton responded to the New York Times’ revelations.
“The Clinton Foundation ‘investigation’ was officially closed by the Biden Justice Department in August 2021,” Fitton remarked. “FBI destroyed all evidence.”
According to the recently released Durham Report, FBI leadership frequently prevented investigators from investigating potential criminal activity involving Hillary Clinton, her campaign, and the Clinton Foundation prior to the 2016 presidential election.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
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