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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Comey DOCUMENT on Hillary Probe PURPOSELY Watered Down


Ex-FBI director's remarks on Clinton probe were watered down, documents show


Newly released documents reveal that then-FBI Director James Comey’s draft statement on the Hillary Clinton email probe was edited numerous times before his public announcement, in ways that seemed to considerably water down the bureau’s findings.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, released copies Thursday of the edits to Comey’s highly scrutinized statement.
One showed language was changed to describe the actions of Clinton and her colleagues as “extremely careless” as opposed to “grossly negligent.” This is a key legal distinction.
Johnson, writing about his concerns in a letter Thursday to FBI Director Christopher Wray, said the original “could be read as a finding of criminality in Secretary Clinton’s handling of classified material.”
“The edited statement deleted the reference to gross negligence – a legal threshold for mishandling classified material – and instead replaced it with an exculpatory sentence,” he wrote.
The edits also showed that references to specific potential violations of statutes on “gross negligence” of classified information and “misdemeanor handling” were removed.
The original also said it was “reasonably likely” that “hostile actors” gained access to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email account. That was later changed to say that scenario was merely “possible.”
The final statement also removed a reference to the “sheer volume” of classified information discussed on email.
“While the precise dates of the edits and identities of the editors are not apparent from the documents, the edits appear to change the tone and substance of Director Comey’s statement in at least three respects,” Johnson wrote Thursday.
That includes, Johnson said, “repeated edits to reduce Secretary Clinton’s culpability in mishandling classified information.”
The edits also showed that references to specific potential violations of statutes on “gross negligence” of classified information and “misdemeanor handling” were removed.
The original also said it was “reasonably likely” that “hostile actors” gained access to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email account. That was later changed to say that scenario was merely “possible.”
The final statement also removed a reference to the “sheer volume” of classified information discussed on email.
“While the precise dates of the edits and identities of the editors are not apparent from the documents, the edits appear to change the tone and substance of Director Comey’s statement in at least three respects,” Johnson wrote Thursday.
That includes, Johnson said, “repeated edits to reduce Secretary Clinton’s culpability in mishandling classified information.”
“In summary, the edits to Director Comey’s public statement, made months prior to the conclusion of the FBI’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s conduct, had a significant impact on the FBI’s public evaluation of the implications of her actions. 
This effort, seen in light of the personal animus toward then-candidate Trump by senior FBI agents leading the Clinton investigation and their apparent desire to create an ‘insurance policy’ against Mr. Trump’s election, raise profound questions about the FBI’s role and possible interference in the 2016 presidential election and the role of the same agents in Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation by President Trump.”
Johnson was referring to newly revealed anti-Trump text messages exchanged between FBI officials who at one point worked on the Robert Mueller Russia probe.
Comey delivered his statement on the Clinton case in July 2016, calling her actions “extremely careless” while recommending against criminal charges.
Fox News’ Jake Gibson contributed to this report. 
Source>http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/14/comey-edits-revealed-remarks-on-clinton-probe-were-watered-down-documents-show.html

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