Internal FBI emails released Monday show FBI officials in 2016 sought to “expeditiously” accommodate a request for information from then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s lawyer, in what a conservative watchdog group claimed is evidence of “special treatment.”
Judicial Watch – a group that routinely sues for government records – obtained and released 218 pages of emails between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Many of the emails have to do with the bureau’s investigation into whether Clinton improperly used a private email server as secretary of state to discuss classified information.
The emails involve discussions about so-called “302s” – reports written by the FBI after witness interviews. In one email, Page curiously acknowledged that four such 302 reports relating to the Clinton investigation “had never been written.” She didn’t go into detail about why the reports weren’t written, or say which witnesses the 302s would have been about.
There have been previous concerns about missing investigative material related to the Clinton case. In 2016, Fox News reported that two “bankers boxes” of Clinton’s emails went missing during the investigation.
The emails released Monday, meanwhile, show then-FBI General Counsel James Baker writing that he spoke with Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, in August 2016 and promised that the FBI would work to hand over a copy of the 302 from Clinton’s interview “expeditiously.”
On August 16, 2016, he wrote: “I just spoke with David Kendall … I conveyed our view that in order to obtain the documents they are seeking they need to submit a request pursuant to the Privacy Act and FOIA.”
Baker added, “David asked us to focus first on the Secretary’s 302. I said OK,” noting that they would “get the 302 out the door as soon as possible.”
The emails show officials discussing how to appropriately handle the request, with one official suggesting the FBI process it in a way “consistent” with other requests. In an Aug. 21, 2016 email, Baker acknowledged that he planned to give Kendall a heads up before they posted the Clinton interview 302 publicly online.
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