The revelation last year of an unorthodox tarmac meeting between former President Bill Clinton and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch set off a frenzied scramble at the FBI to track down the source, newly released documents show.
Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, which on Thursday released 29 pages of FBI emails related to the 2016 meeting, said the messages show officials were more concerned about the leak than the substance of the report.
“These new FBI documents show the FBI was more concerned about a whistleblower who told the truth about the infamous Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting than the scandalous meeting itself,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.
The FBI initially claimed it had no documents pertaining to the meeting, until uncovering the files later turned over to Judicial Watch.
The watchdog group, in releasing the files, said FBI officials sent a flurry of emails after the meeting was reported in New York’s Observer.
One email sent from an unidentified FBI account on July 3, 2016 said, “We need to find that guy” and bring him or her before a supervisor. Another said the source should be banned from working security details.
Officials speculated that the source of the leak was a Phoenix police officer. One official said they contacted the Phoenix office and would try to “stem any further damage.”
One official, in a July 2 email, said the article represented a “breach in security protocol” and the Phoenix division would be pressured to “identify the source of the breach.”
Judicial Watch said all names on the emails were redacted and there is no documentation showing concern over the meeting itself.
The tarmac meeting fueled Republican complaints at the time that Lynch had improperly met with the husband of an investigation subject, just before the probe into Hillary Clinton’s personal email use was completed with no charges filed.
Fired FBI Director James Comey, in Senate testimony, described the tarmac meeting as problematic. The tarmac meeting came days before Comey held a news conference informing the media that Hillary Clinton would not be charged.
Comey in July 2016 said Clinton was “extremely careless” in handling classified and other emails on the servers but recommend no criminal charges — a conclusion Lynch accepted.
Lynch later expressed regret that she sat down with Bill Clinton while his wife was under federal criminal investigation, a chance encounter she acknowledged “cast a shadow” on the public’s perception of a case bound to influence the presidential campaign.
“I certainly wouldn’t do it again,” Lynch said of the meeting.
And so did most of America…
Six days later former FBI Director James Comey cleared Hillary Clinton of any alleged crimes related to the ongoing email server investigation.
Not surprisingly, following the above media clip several concerned watchdog groups filed FOIA requests seeking any and all DOJ and/or FBI documents related to what was either (i) a really poorly timed meeting, in the best case, or (ii) a clear attempt by a former President of the United States to apply leverage over the current Attorney General to obstruct justice and get his wife elected President, in the worst case.
After originally being told by the FBI there were no documents to produce in response to their July 2016 FOIA request, Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton was subsequently told in October 2017 that the FBI had simply overlooked 30 pages worth of relevant docs…30 pages which Fitton now says will mark the “beginning of the end” of the DOJ’s “cover-up” when they’re released this Thursday.
FBI Hid Clinton/Lynch Tarmac Meeting Records. But the cover-up begins to end — thanks to @JudicialWatch — the day after tomorrow. @RealDonaldTrump needs to clean house at FBI/DOJ.
Fitton expressed his frustration with the botched FOIA response back in October. He described the FBI as “out of control” and saying it’s “stunning that the FBI ‘found’ these Clinton-Lynch tarmac records only after we caught the agency hiding them in another lawsuit.”
Via Judicial Watch…
“The FBI is out of control. It is stunning that the FBI ‘found’ these Clinton-Lynch tarmac records only after we caught the agency hiding them in another lawsuit,” stated Judicial Watch Tom Fitton. “Judicial Watch will continue to press for answers about the FBI’s document games in court. In the meantime, the FBI should stop the stonewall and release these new records immediately.”
This case has also forced the FBI to release to the public the FBI’s Clinton investigative file, although more than half of the records remain withheld. The FBI has also told Judicial Watch that it anticipates completing the processing of these materials by July 2018.
There is significant controversy about whether the FBI and Obama Justice Department investigation gave Clinton and other witnesses and potential targets preferential treatment.
Come Thursday, Judicial Watch may release documents that expose collusion between a former U.S. President, the FBI and the sitting Attorney General.
Now that the Clinton mafia has been neutered, powerless and plagued with a re-examination of Bill’s sexual past, justice may will finally see the light of day.