Gowdy: FBI barely probed Clinton about intent on emails

FBI officials failed to aggressively question Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHeller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 MORE about her intentions in setting up a private email system, Rep. Trey GowdyTrey GowdyTrey Gowdy sets goal of avoiding ideological echo chamber with Fox News show Fox News signs Trey Gowdy, Dan Bongino for new shows Pompeo rebukes Biden's new foreign policy MORE (R-S.C.) claimed this week, exposing a potential key vulnerability in the bureau’s investigation.

“I didn't see that many questions on that issue,” Gowdy told Fox News’s “The Kelly File” on Wednesday evening.

ADVERTISEMENT

The detail could be crucial for Republican critics of the FBI’s decision not to recommend charges be filed against the former secretary of State for mishandling classified information.

FBI Director James Comey’s argument hinged on the declaration that even though Clinton’s email setup was “extremely careless,” there was no intention to remove sensitive information outside of secure spaces. As such, no charge could be filed, he claimed.

“I know no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case,” Comey testified on Capitol Hill last month.

Gowdy, the chairman of the all but defunct Select Committee on Benghazi, has examined a summary of the 3.5-hour interview the FBI conducted with Clinton, which was given to Congress earlier this month.

“I looked to see what witnesses were questioned on the issue of intent, including her,” he said on Fox News. “I didn't see that many questions on that issue.”

Gowdy and other prominent congressional Republicans have accused the Justice Department of creating a double standard by failing to charge Clinton for mishandling government secrets. A lower-level official who had performed the same acts, they have said, would have been handed a federal indictment.

Any evidence to suggest that the FBI went soft in its interview with the Democratic presidential nominee is only likely to inflame those allegations.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzCongress's latest hacking investigation should model its most recent Fox News Audio expands stable of podcasts by adding five new shows The myth of the conservative bestseller MORE (R-Utah) has called for the FBI to create unclassified versions of the Clinton case file that it gave to Congress, so that the material can be released publicly.   

Gowdy reiterated the call on Fox News.

“There's no reason in the world you could not and should not be able to look at the same witness interviews that I had to go to Washington and look at in a classified setting,” he said.

Clinton’s presidential campaign has also called for the full set of materials to be released publicly, to avoid what they have warned would be selective and politically motivated leaks by GOP lawmakers.