It is hard to separate fact from fiction in the ongoing story of the FBI’s dual investigations into Hillary Clinton’s emails and the activities of the Clinton Foundation. There are “leaks” from various sources, some of which are more reliable than others, but what is apparent is that there is an ongoing FBI investigation into the activities of the Clinton Foundation.
Investigation began in 2015
The FBI started an investigation into the Clinton Foundation in the summer of 2015. The initial cause of the FBI’s interest was a book written by conservative author Peter Schweizer, entitled Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich. While the FBI does not usually undertake investigations based on allegations in a book, informants and recordings from other ongoing corruption investigations corroborated enough of the information in the book to pique the interest of the FBI.
FBI and Justice disagree
The FBI interviewed Mr. Schweizer several times, and by the end of 2015, there was disagreement between the FBI and the Justice Department whether the investigation was strong enough to continue.
Within the FBI, some felt they had moved well beyond the allegations made in the anti-Clinton book. At least two confidential informants from other public-corruption investigations had provided details about the Clinton Foundation to the FBI.
Prosecutors thought the talk was hearsay and a weak basis to warrant aggressive tactics, like presenting evidence to a grand jury, because the person who was secretly recorded wasn’t inside the Clinton Foundation. — The Wall Street Journal
Things came to a head on August 12th of this year when “a senior Justice Department official” complained to FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe that agents were continuing their investigation in spite of Justice Department orders to cease. Mr. McCabe stated that the inquiry was a “validly predicated investigation” and refused to stop it.
Emails found during Weiner inquiry
While the investigation into the Clinton Foundation was continuing, another FBI team was working on an inquiry into alleged sexting messages sent by former Congressman Anthony Weiner. In early October, the Weiner team discovered 650,000 email messages on a laptop owned by Wiener, which included messages from Mr. Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, the vice chair of the Clinton campaign and Mrs. Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff while she was Secretary of State. These messages appeared to have been sent to or from a private email server maintained by Mrs. Clinton.
Comey notified Congress
In late October, FBI Director, James Comey notified Congress of the newly found information related to Mrs. Clinton’s emails. The investigations into the Clinton Foundation and Mrs. Clinton’s emails are continuing as two separate investigations, although there is some overlap between the inquiries.
43,000 emails from Podesta released
Meanwhile, the steady stream of hacked emails by WikiLeaks from the email account of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta has continued to provide additional information about possible links between the activities of the Clinton Foundation and Mrs. Clinton while serving as Secretary of State. To date, WikiLeaks has released more than 43,000 emails belonging to Mr. Podesta. The Clinton campaign has neither confirmed nor denied the validity of the emails.
Obama comments on FBI
There is no timetable for additional information being released on either of the two ongoing investigations. It would appear that the sheer volume of emails would preclude any resolution of the various inquiries before the election. The FBI has received a great deal of criticism for releasing even limited information on the status of the investigation. Yesterday, President Obama commented on the inquiry.
Setting aside the particulars of this case, I know that [Clinton] is somebody who has always looked out for the interests of America and the American people first. And I do think there is a norm that when there are investigations, we don't operate on innuendo, we don't operate on incomplete information, we don't operate on leaks. We operate based on concrete decisions that are made. When this was investigated thoroughly, the last time, the conclusion of the FBI, the conclusion of the Justice Department, the conclusion of repeated congressional investigations was that she had made some mistakes but that there wasn't anything there that was prosecutable. — President Barack Obama
It does appear likely that the FBI’s investigation, as well as several promised Congressional investigation's, will keep the story of Hillary Clinton’s emails and the Clinton Foundation in the news for the foreseeable future.