Reported By Jack Davis | Published March 13, 2019 at 9:46am
New information shows the Justice Department was a “broken and corrupt machine” during its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails, President Donald Trump said Wednesday.
This week, Republican Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia released 370 pages worth of transcripts from testimony given to the House Judiciary Committee last summer. Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who shared her anti-Trump sentiments with former FBI special agent Peter Strozek in a series of text messages that were later uncovered, testified about the 2016 investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
“The American people deserve to know what transpired in the highest echelons of the FBI during that tumultuous time for the bureau,” Collins said in a statement.
Trump cut to the chase in a pair of Wednesday tweets that condemned the Justice Department under the leadership of former President Barack Obama and the FBI under the leadership of former Director James Comey, whom Trump later fired.
“The just revealed FBI Agent Lisa Page transcripts make the Obama Justice Department look exactly like it was, a broken and corrupt machine. Hopefully, justice will finally be served. Much more to come!” the president tweeted.
“Comey testified (under oath) that it was a ‘unanimous’ decision on Crooked Hillary,” he said. “Lisa Page transcripts show he LIED.”
Trump focused on a part of the transcript in which Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe was questioning Page, Fox News reported.
“So let me if I can, I know I’m testing your memory,” Ratcliffe began as he questioned Page under oath, according to the transcript, “but when you say advice you got from the Department, you’re making it sound like it was the Department that told you: You’re not going to charge gross negligence because we’re the prosecutors and we’re telling you we’re not going to –“
Page said she and other FBI officials objected to Justice Department decisions, according to excerpts published in The Washington Post.
She said that “we all at FBI” also disagreed with the ruling to let “fact witnesses” — Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson — sit in on Clinton’s interview about her email scandal. Page said that decision was made by Justice Department officials and not within the FBI.
“It is not typically appropriate or operationally necessary to have fact witnesses attend an interview,” Page said in the transcript, noting that no other witness was allowed to bring such an entourage.
Ratcliffe tweeted Tuesday that Page essentially confirmed that “the FBI was ordered by the Obama DOJ not to consider charging Hillary Clinton for gross negligence in the handling of classified information.”
Page said the DOJ and FBI had “multiple conversations … about charging gross negligence.”
She denied the FBI “blew over” potentially charging Clinton with gross negligence under the Espionage Act.
Officials considered the charge, she said, but thought it would be “constitutionally vague,” without any recent precedent, and “they did not feel that they could sustain a charge.”
Page said Richard Scott of the Justice Department advised against making the harsher charge, according to The Post. Scott had not responded to news outlet as of Wednesday morning.
DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz criticized FBI officials for showing their biases in the Clinton case.
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