Compliance Management, Privacy

Johnson presses Comey for details as FBI director prepares to testify before House committee

Just as Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey prepares to go in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to testify about the FBI's investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server for State Department business, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, sent a letter to Comey requesting additional information on the investigation and how the agency came to the conclusion that Clinton shouldn't face criminal charges.

“According to your statement, you determined that Secretary Clinton's ‘handling of very sensitive, highly classified information' was ‘extremely careless,'” Johnson wrote, noting that Comey said Clinton's actions didn't warrant criminal charges or meet the “gross negligence” standard. “What is the difference, in the FBI's view, between extreme carelessness and gross negligence?”

Johnson asked Comey to clarify “what set of facts would cause the FBI to recommend criminal charges under the gross negligence standard.”

Saying he wanted to “better understand the resources that the FBI employed during” the investigation, Johnson also asked Comey to provide the total number of FBI personnel that were assigned to the case as well as a list of resources used or consulted. Johnson also wants details of the costs involved in the investigation, many of them likely stretched across a number of agencies.

Comey will face questions from the House Oversight Committee, whose chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) had expressed surprise and confusion at the FBI director's recommendation. “The fact pattern presented by Director Comey makes clear Secretary Clinton violated the law. Individuals who intentionally skirt the law must be held accountable," Chaffetz said in a statement. "Congress and the American people have a right to understand the depth and breadth of the FBI's investigation.”  

Clinton's campaign chided Chaffetz for apparently breaking with his earlier pledge to accept the FBI's recommendation. "Shockingly, Chaffetz has not stood by that," CNN noted that the campaign said in a statement."Just like the House Benghazi Committee before them, Chaffetz and his fellow Republicans refuse to accept the findings from any independent investigation if it doesn't fit their partisan conspiracy theory. They are so desperate to continue attacking Hillary Clinton over the issue of her emails that they are contradicting themselves in challenging the integrity of the director of the FBI."

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