Grassley wants expanded access to FBI’s Clinton files

Grassley wants expanded access to FBI’s Clinton files
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The head of the Senate Judiciary Committee wants his staffers to have access to files from the FBI's investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe 'Palmetto Promise': South Carolina will decide the race Alabama Senate contender hits Sessions in new ad: 'Hillary still ain't in jail' Worries grow as moderates split Democratic vote MORE’s private email setup, a push that could expand the number of people able to view the documents.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Health Care: Nevada union won't endorse before caucuses after 'Medicare for All' scrap | McConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills | CDC confirms 15th US coronavirus case Mnuchin defends Treasury regulations on GOP tax law Wyden, Mnuchin clash over Trump tax returns, Hunter Biden probe MORE (R-Iowa) on Wednesday formally requested that the Senate’s security director provide unclassified portions of the FBI files to his committee’s staff, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press.

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“[I]t is inappropriate to unnecessarily mingle classified and unclassified information," Grassley told Senate Security Director Michael DiSilvestro, according to the AP.

"Accordingly, as you have done on similar occasions in the past, please provide the Judiciary Committee with a copy of the unclassified FBI documents from the production."

The FBI this week sent Congress both classified and unclassified materials about its yearlong investigation into the email server Clinton used when she was secretary of State, following requests from congressional Republicans.

Grassley on Wednesday told The Washington Post that unclassified material from the investigation “ought to be public.”

The demand could undermine the restrictions placed on the materials by the FBI, which has sought to limit the number of people with access to the files.

It may also play into the hands of Democrats, who have warned that Republicans’ demands to see the FBI files will inevitably lead to selective leaks to the media designed to damage the Democratic presidential nominee. Clinton’s presidential campaign has called for the material to be released to avoid “partisan leaks.”

“The material contains classified and other sensitive information and is being provided with the expectation it will not be disseminated or disclosed without FBI concurrence,” the bureau said in a statement Tuesday.

The documents are reportedly being kept in a secure room on Capitol Hill, alongside other sensitive materials.

Making the FBI's files public would be an extraordinary action. Authorities are loath to release material in cases that don't result in criminal charges, because the evidence may appear to unfairly tar the reputation of someone who hasn't been accused of any wrongdoing.

Among the files given to Congress this week, according to Rep, Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDemocrats fear rule of law crumbling under Trump DOJ lawyers resign en masse over Roger Stone sentencing George Conway: We might have to impeach Trump again MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, is the summary of the FBI’s 3.5-hour interview with Clinton last month.

On Capitol Hill last month, FBI Director James Comey testified that Clinton did not lie to the FBI during her interview with investigators.

Republicans, however, have alleged that she may have lied during a marathon appearance before the House Select Committee on Benghazi last year, and they have pushed authorities to investigate the matter.