‘Just because there was a political election doesn’t mean it goes away’
(WND) – If Hillary Clinton thinks the investigation of her private, unsecured email server ended with her failed bid for the presidency in November, she’d better think again – because now the top GOP investigator says a House Republican probe could zero in on “a lot of other characters” involved in the Clinton scandal.
“This was never a political targeting in the beginning, and just because there was a political election doesn’t mean it goes away,” House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said Monday. “There were a lot of other characters involved in this that we have to look at.”
The House investigation may include several individuals, including former members of Hillary’s campaign or even FBI officials, the Washington Examiner reported.
“This was potentially one of the largest breaches of security in the history of the State Department,” Chaffetz said. “It cannot and should never be repeated again. How is it that so much information was able to migrate out into the world? These are still open questions that we need to finish up so that they don’t happen again.”
According to the Examiner, Chaffetz said he wants to look into the security clearances of aides who helped Hillary with her “extremely careless” email setup. He indicated Hillary IT aide Bryan Pagliano could even be held in contempt of Congress for defying subpoenas to appear before Congress in 2016. As WND reported, Pagliano – the man who set up Hillary’s homebrew email server – simply refused to obey a subpoena to appear before a House committee hearing in September.
“You can’t just get a subpoena from Congress to testify and not show up,” Chaffetz said Monday.
The GOP lawmaker also indicated interest in probing the role of State Department Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy in the email scandal, as the FBI has suggested Kennedy attempted to arrange a “quid pro quo” with the agency so it would declassify Hillary emails.
“FBI leadership could also be a live target of the review, as Republicans re troubled that Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime ally of the Clintons, made campaign donations to the wife of Andrew McCabe, the agency’s second-in-command,” the Examiner reported.
Chaffetz said, “I’m very concerned about the straight-up conflict of interest that Mr. McCabe had. That’s something we’ll continue to spend resources on.”
On the campaign trail during the presidential election, then-GOP nominee Donald Trump held rallies where massive crowds chanted, “Lock her up!”
Chaffetz indicated he is uncertain about whether the White House will collaborate with the investigation.
“It depends how cooperative the administration is going to be. We’re going to work with [White House General Counsel Don] McGahn and [incoming] Attorney General Sessions and others to see what sort of documents and what sort of access we’re going to be allowed.”
Even if the Trump administration isn’t on board, Chaffetz indicated that lower level State Department officials might impede progress in the investigation.
“We’re still dealing with the massive bureaucracy; changing the secretary of state doesn’t necessarily change the whole bureaucracy,” he said. “I don’t want this to linger, but the reason we’re still talking about it now is because stuff that we’ve been asking for since 2010 still hasn’t arrived.”
As WND reported, the FBI investigation into Clinton’s email scandal concluded in July without charges, even though FBI chief James Comey said Clinton had been “extremely careless,” sending national security information through an unsecured private email server.
A little more than one week before the election, emails were found on a laptop computer to which both Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her estranged husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who was being investigated in a sexting case, had access.
Comey informed Republican members of Congress he needed to time review the new information, but two days before Election Day he announced the conclusion he reached in July had not changed.
WND reported in December when a federal appeals court opened the door for Trump’s U.S. attorney general, which will be Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., if confirmed, to intervene in the case.
The decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, in fact, said the law requires it.
The conclusion came in a lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch seeking to retrieve emails that were not released to the public.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the courts “seem to be fed up with the Obama administration’s refusal to enforce the rule of law on the Clinton emails.”
“Today’s appeals court ruling rejects the Obama State Department’s excuses justifying its failure to ask the attorney general, as the law requires, to pursue the recovery of the Clinton emails,” he said at the time. “This ruling means that the Trump Justice Department will have to decide if it wants to finally enforce the rule of law and try to retrieve all the emails Clinton and her aides unlawfully took with them when they left the State Department.”
The Daily Caller pointed out that the decision is “offering President-elect Donald Trump an opportunity to intervene in the controversial case.”