FBI to State Dept.: Stop reviewing Hillary's e-mails; we'll take it from here

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Monday April 04th, 2016

Crunch time.

Understand the players here. The State Department is run by John Kerry, and has been engaged for months now in a foot-dragging exercise of "reviewing" and releasing (only because a court ordered them to) the Hillary Clinton e-mails they absolutely had to - withholding, of course, those containing top secret information that Hillary still tries to say do not exist. The State Department would like nothing more than to bury this whole thing and pretend it was all a big nothingburger in the first place.

The FBI is run by James Comey, who was first appointed by George W. Bush, and consists of career law enforcement professionals. Their bosses are political - led by Obama-appointed Attorney General Loretta Lynch - but they conduct their investigations in a serious and unbiased manner. So when the FBI sees the effect the State Department's slow jam is having on its own investigation, it tells Foggy Bottom one thing: Stop:

"The FBI communicated to us that we should follow our standard practice which is to put our internal review on hold while there is an ongoing law enforcement investigation underway," she continued. "We of course do not want our internal review to complicate or impede the progress of their ongoing investigation. Therefore, the State Department is not moving forward with our internal review at this time."

Trudeau added that State will "reassess next steps" once the FBI's investigation is finished, which could mean conducting its own review in addition to the FBI's. The timeline for the FBI's investigation is unclear, but top Clinton State Department aides are expected to be interviewed.

In January, the State Department said it had come across 22 emails from Clinton's private account that had to be upgraded to "Top Secret," which means the emails were completely withheld from being publicly released along with the rest of her emails. At the time, State said it would conduct an internal review to determine whether classified information was mishandled. The FBI notified State in early March that they should hold off on an internal review for the time being.

If it's "standard practice" to put the internal review on hold while there is an ongoing law enforcement investigation, then why did the FBI have to tell State to do it? Wouldn't they just do it on their own? Or did they divert from standard practice in this case for the purpose of covering for Hillary? Either way, it obviously became clear to the FBI that State's actions were compromising the effectiveness of the criminal investigation.

Hillary wants to claim that she is the victim of "overclassification" by bickering federal agencies who just got way too aggressive about marking stuff as classified that didn't need to be. That's a total dodge. Federal law says classified material is what it is regardless of the markings, and we already know that in at least one case Hillary told an aide to change classification headings because she was tired of waiting for an e-mail.

What's happening here is that the FBI realizes the State Department is conducting this "review" with the goal in mind of covering up Hillary's actions, and the FBI needs that to end so it can get to the truth of whether laws were broken here. That speaks to the seriousness of the investigation, although it still doesn't guarantee that Lynch would follow a recommendation to indict (nor does it guarantee there will be such a recommendation).

Question: How many holdovers in the State Department are still loyal to Hillary, and will the FBI also investigate what they've done to try to prevent the FBI from getting to the bottom of this? The standard Clinton MO is put loyalists to work making it damn near impossible to prove what the Clintons did, and that usually works only because those charged with finding the truth throw their hands up in frustration, or don't want to be treated like monsters (think Ken Starr) for doing their jobs.

I get the impression Comey is not intimidated by any such possibility. I like this guy.

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