The transcripts of congressional testimony of former FBI lawyer Lisa Page were just released.
There had been prior reports about what was in the testimony.
But now it is confirmed that the FBI did, in fact, consider charges against Hillary Clinton under the Espionage Act citing gross negligence, but that the Justice Department told them “no,” according to Page’s testimony.
From Washington Examiner:
Page told the committee that the FBI “did not blow over gross negligence.” Responding to a question from Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, Page testified the FBI, including Comey, believed Clinton may have committed gross negligence. “We, in fact — and, in fact, the Director — because, on its face, it did seem like, well, maybe there’s a potential here for this to be the charge. And we had multiple conversations, multiple conversations with the Justice Department about charging gross negligence,” she said.
Page further testified the DOJ put a stop to that: “The Justice Department’s assessment was that it was both constitutionally vague, so that they did not actually feel that they could permissibly bring that charge.” The specific statute being referenced, 18 U.S. Code § 793, deals in part with “gross negligence” in the handling of national defense information, which Clinton came under scrutiny for possibly violating.
Page said Comey and the FBI spoke with DOJ about a gross negligence charge for Clinton multiple times, but that the DOJ consistently pushed back on it. “We had multiple conversations with the Justice Department about bringing a gross negligence charge. And that’s, as I said, the advice that we got from the Department was that they did not think — that it was constitutionally vague and not sustainable,” she said.
Ratcliffe asked if the decision not to charge Clinton with gross negligence was a direct order from the DOJ. “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 an we’re telling you we’re not going to,’” he said.
Page responded: “That’s correct.”
Former FBI Director James Comey came out with the statement, deciding not to charge Clinton shortly after the infamous tarmac meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton.
While he laid a complete foundation to charged her after setting forth that 110 emails in 52 emails chains contained classified information when they were sent or received by Clinton, he declined to do so, claiming they could not prove “intent” which was not a requirement of the statute.
It was reportedly Page’s lover, Peter Strzok, who changed the language in Comey’s July statement from “gross negligence” to “extremely careless.”
It’s hard to see how one couldn’t find intent given the evidence, much less gross negligence and that’s what’s so infuriating about the case.
Even Comey seemed to say as much that it was more a “prosecutorial decision” which wasn’t his to make to begin with.
But didn’t Loretta Lynch testify that she had deferred to Comey?
Sounds like things not quite lining up there…