National Security

GOP lawmakers ask FBI for Clinton interview notes

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A group of House Republicans is asking FBI Director James Comey to provide Congress with a copy of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s interview with agency investigators about her use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State.

In a letter to Comey on Monday, 35 GOP lawmakers led by Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), one of the first Capitol Hill Republicans to endorse Donald Trump’s White House bid, requested copies of written accounts of Clinton’s responses to questions in the absence of a full transcript of the three-and-a-half-hour July interview. 

Comey told the House Oversight Committee last month that the FBI did not record its interview with Clinton or require her to take a sworn oath before making her statements before investigators. 

{mosads}The lawmakers asked Comey to provide an explanation of why the interview wasn’t transcribed, as well as copies of interviewing agents’ notes. 

Members of Congress could receive notes from the interview as soon as this week, according to multiple reports.

The GOP lawmakers also asked Comey to clarify the apparent discrepancy between his Capitol Hill testimony and statements made by Clinton over the last year about whether classified information was discussed in her private email messages.

Clinton has said she did not send or receive any information marked classified at the time. But during his appearance before the House Oversight Committee in July to discuss the agency’s decision not to indict the former secretary of State, Comey stated that “there was classified material e-mailed.”

Clinton further maintained in a July 31 interview with Fox News’s Chris Wallace that “Director Comey said my answers were truthful.”

While the FBI has said some messages were retroactively classified, seven email chains contained classified information considered “top secret” at the time they were sent.

“Secretary Clinton has stated that you said her answers to the American public were truthful. However, in your testimony you indicated that Secretary Clinton was not telling the truth. We would like for you to clarify whether Secretary Clinton was telling the truth,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. 

At the July hearing, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) asked Comey whether Clinton had misled the public about her use of the private email server. The FBI director declined to comment directly on Clinton’s public statements: “That’s a question I’m not qualified to answer. I can speak about what she said to the FBI.”

Also on Monday, Chaffetz and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) laid out the case for the Justice Department to file perjury charges against Clinton for alleged misstatements she made under oath before the House Select Committee on Benghazi last year.

“Although there may be other aspects of Secretary Clinton’s sworn testimony that are at odds with the FBI’s findings, her testimony in those four areas bears specific scrutiny,” Chaffetz and Goodlatte wrote in a letter to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Channing Phillips.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, warned that giving members of Congress notes of Clinton’s interview would set a bad precedent for future investigations given the likelihood of partisan-minded leaks.

“Witnesses will be less likely to cooperate if they feel private statements to investigators may become political fodder for Congress,” Schiff said in a statement on Monday. 

“And make no mistake, if these statements are released to Congress, they will be released. The history of the partisan Benghazi investigation made it clear that any information that can be leaked by the majority to the prejudice of Secretary Clinton, will be leaked,” he added.

This story was updated at 6:19 p.m.

Tags Adam Schiff Bob Goodlatte Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Jason Chaffetz

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