On Wednesday morning, Republican Representatives Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Mark Meadows (N.C.) held a press conference “calling for investigation on the FBI’s treatment of Hillary Clinton.”
In a press release, Gaetz said a group of representatives had sent the a letter to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Christopher A. Wray, requesting an investigation to be launched. They want the FBI to address the FBI’s treatment of failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during investigations, compared to investigations conducted regarding President Donald J. Trump.
Rep. Gaetz is specifically interested in information revealed by former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who said in a statement that the FBI investigation into Clinton’s misuse of a personal email server was “referred to as ‘special’” and that “the decision was made to investigate it at HQ with a small team.”
In the press conference, Gaetz said, “Nobody should get special treatment, and nobody should be subjected to special bias.”
“Each day we learn more information that reflects the double standard that unfortunately seems to be pervasive at the FBI and at the Department of Justice,” he said. “Just a few examples: Hillary Clinton received a small team at headquarters to conduct her investigation,” Gaetz continued, citing emails from McCabe. “Contrast that to Donald Trump who has more people investigating him than investigated the Oklahoma City Bombing.”
He also noted that a statement exonerating Clinton was drafted before the investigation had been completed, and before key witnesses had been interviewed.
“Contrast that with the investigation of President Trump, where people who actively dislike the president were assigned to work against him,” Gaetz said.
“A witch-hunt continues against the president, with tremendous bias, with no purpose and with no end in sight,” Gaetz stated.
Gaetz concluded by saying he wants reform to a system where special treatment and special bias exists.
The letter he sent to McCabe was cosigned by Congressmen Andy Biggs (AZ) and Louis Gohmert (TX), both members of the House Judiciary Committee. They have requested answers to their questions prior to FBI Director Wray’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
The full text of the letter can read HERE or below, while a video of the full press conference may be found below the letter.
Dear Director Wray:
We write this letter to launch our investigation into the FBI’s treatment of Hillary Clinton and President Donald Trump both during and immediately following the 2016 election.
As you are aware, the FBI has recently released emails in which the Hillary Clinton email investigation was called “special” by current FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. The substance of these emails triggers the oversight function of the Judiciary Committee upon which we serve. Specifically, special treatment for any American undermines the cherished principle of equaltreatment for all under the rule of law.
In July, the FBI opened an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server. Mr. McCabe, as WFO ADIC, claims he was “not consulted” about the investigation and “not given any details.” However, in a seemingly-contradictory statement, he does admit to “providing some personnel” for the investigation. Most troubling is McCabe’s admission that the investigation was “referred to as ‘special’” and that “the decision was made to investigate it at HQ with a small team.”
Additional events during this time period create a troubling context:
- Then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch meeting alone with former President Bill Clinton on a private jet while investigating his wife;
- Lynch directing then-FBI Director James Comey to call the Clinton email investigation a “matter” rather than an “investigation;”
- Comey separating the Clinton investigation from the Washington Field Office and normal procedures for investigations, and, as Mr. McCabe’s emails state, making “the decision […] to investigate it at HQ with a small team”;
- Comey drafting a statement exonerating Hillary Clinton prior to conducting key elements of the investigation, such as interviewing witnesses, including Ms. Clinton herself;
These facts require us to ask the following:
- Can you define the meaning of “special,” as it pertained to the Hillary Clinton email investigation?
- Who approved of the “special” status of this investigation?
- Who decided that the investigation would be handled “at HQ with a small team” rather than by the Washington Field Office?
- What processes are in place at the FBI to ensure that “special” treatment is not given to other political figures?
We also remain troubled regarding the FBI’s treatment of President Trump both before and after his election. Specifically, we are concerned about the dossier prepared by Fusion GPS and funded, at least in part, by the Democratic National Committee. Mr. Comey referred to the dossier as “salacious and unverified,” yet much remains unknown about its utilization and procurement. We ask directly:
- Did the FBI, directly or indirectly, pay for the dossier or reimburse Christopher Steele or Fusion GPS for preparing the dossier?
- Has the dossier been used to obtain FISA warrants to conduct surveillance on American citizens?
Given the serious nature of these issues, we hope that you will provide responses to these questions prior to your upcoming testimony before the Judiciary Committee. Thank you for your time.
Matt Gaetz Andy Biggs Louie Gohmert
FL-01 AZ-05 TX-01
Member of Congress Member of Congress Member of Congress