Hillary Clinton may not be out of the woods just yet.
Following the botched James Comey-led FBI investigation of her in 2016, the Justice Department launched a separate investigation into Clinton’s email mishandling.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz is set to release – as early as this week – the final report to select officials. The report will be made publicly available next month.
According to some reports, Clinton could find herself facing charges in the final assessment. The IG report is also expected to harshly criticize Comey’s investigation.
Per Washington Post:
The Justice Department inspector general has completed a draft of its report criticizing law enforcement’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe, and current and former officials will begin reviewing the findings this week and lobbying for changes before the report probably becomes public next month, people familiar with the matter said.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz notified lawmakers in a Wednesday letter that the draft report was complete and being made available to the agencies and individuals it examined in the probe.
The report is expected to blast former FBI director James B. Comey for various steps he took in the investigation, particularly his announcing in July — without telling his Justice Department bosses what he was about to say — that the FBI was recommending that Clinton not be charged, and for revealing to Congress just weeks before the presidential election that the bureau had resumed its work, people familiar with the matter said.
The FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server already has been intensely scrutinized by reporters and lawmakers, though the inspector general presumably will have access to documents and witnesses that others would not. Comey has also discussed his decisions in the case in his recently released book and in media interviews, generally defending the unorthodox steps the bureau took.
Comey has said publicly that he welcomes the inspector general’s review — though he conceded he might face criticism.
“With respect to how I made my decisions in the Clinton case, I think they’ll find they were made thoughtfully and deliberately,” he said in a recent interview with The Washington Post. “Whether they agree with them, whether they agree with the view that it was a 500-year flood and we made decisions in the best interests of the institution, or not, I don’t know. They might bang me for decisions and have a different view of it, but what I care about is the process, and I respect that process a great deal.”
Buckle up https://t.co/544kWe5BNM
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 17, 2018
As Fox News reports, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe could also face charges following the release of the final report:
Horowitz’s review has already put top FBI official Andrew McCabe in legal jeopardy. The Justice Department’s internal watchdog sent a criminal referral for McCabe in April to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington.
That was in response to Horowitz’s finding that McCabe leaked information to the press about the investigation and later lied about it to Comey and federal investigators, prompting Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire him in March.
Horowitz wrote in his letter to Congress that he is “making relevant portions of the draft report available for review and comment” by those interviewed in the probe and those whose conduct is addressed in the report.
As Fox News reports, it was Horowitz’s report that initially unearthed anti-Trump text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page.
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
In November, Horowitz said his team has interviewed dozens of people and had reviewed about 1.2 million records in the course of its investigation. He said his team was looking at whether “certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations.”
The review also looked at whether the Justice Department’s assistant attorney general for legislative affairs “improperly disclosed non-public information to the Clinton campaign” and should have been recused. That’s in reference to official Peter Kadzik, who had been an attorney in the past for Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
Horowitz has said the review is looking at whether any DOJ or FBI employees improperly disclosed non-public information.
The inspector general’s review uncovered the anti-Trump texts from FBI official Peter Strzok, who famously called Trump an “idiot” and texted about an “insurance policy” against a Trump presidency.