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Jul 06 2016

FBI Director to Testify in Emergency Hearing on Clinton Decision

FBI director to testify

In a new development, the House Oversight Committee has summoned the FBI director to testify at an emergency hearing regarding the bureau’s decision on the Hillary Clinton email scandal. The hearing is to take place Thursday at 10am, just two days after James Comey released his decision on the investigation. Though Comey condemned Clinton’s actions as “extremely careless,” he recommended that no charges against Clinton be filed. Despite classified information being found on her private email, he lamented that there was not enough evidence. He did, of course, state that if anyone else had been found with 110 messages containing classified information in their private emails, they would be prosecuted. The issue is that there is no reason to believe – according to Comey – that Clinton intended to break the law, even though she was caught in lies nearly every step of the way.

On Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan called for the FBI director to testify in order to bring light to “a lot of unanswered questions.” He also recommended the Director of National Intelligence to block Clinton from having access to any classified information. House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz called the investigation’s outcome “surprising and confusing”; in his official statement, he said, “Congress and the American people have a right to understand the depth and breadth of the FBI’s investigation.” Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson has also demanded a written explanation of Comey’s decision and sent out a Capitol-wide letter announcing that his committee will continue to investigate Clinton’s email use. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, too, has condemned the decision, stating, “No one is above the law.”

Comey seemed to sense the oncoming backlash, when he ended his Tuesday statement: “I know there will be intense public debate in the wake of this recommendation, as there was throughout the investigation. What I can assure the American people is that this investigation was done honestly, confidently and independently. No outside influence of any kind was brought to bear.”

Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who recently held a secret meeting will former president Bill Clinton, has stated that she is accepting the FBI’s recommendations. She will also face a hearing of her own on July 12; it’s likely she’ll be questioned about that shady meeting. While Lynch claims that the meeting was only a social call, it has placed a cloud over the integrity of the investigation (as if there were no question already).

The Clinton camp is, of course, celebrating this as a victory; Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon told reporters that the campaign is pleased with the results and called the matter “resolved.” Oversight Committee Democrat Elijah E. Cummings rebuked the hearings, stating “The only emergency here is that yet another Republican conspiracy theory is slipping away.” Committee Democrats are accusing the GOP of attempting to pressure Comey in a move that is purely political. Many Clinton supporters claim that this is just another round of wild accusations, despite the Clinton family’s long history of questionable political dealings.

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