Chairman Chaffetz summons FBI director to Capitol Hill over Clinton emails

In this 2008 file photo, Rep. Jason Chaffetz addresses the Center for the Study of Ethics during a debate at Utah Valley University, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 1, 2008 | Photo courtesy of Don LaVange, St. George News

WASHINGTON (AP) — Irate that Hillary Clinton will not face criminal charges over her emails, House Republicans are summoning FBI Director James Comey to Capitol Hill to answer their questions.

FBI Director James Comey walks to the podium to make a statement at FBI Headquarters in Washington, Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Comey said the FBI will not recommend criminal charges in its investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
FBI Director James Comey walks to the podium to make a statement at FBI Headquarters in Washington, Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Comey said the FBI will not recommend criminal charges in its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Comey will testify Thursday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the panel’s chairman, Jason Chaffetz of Utah, announced Wednesday.

The announcement came a day after Comey rebuked Clinton for “extremely careless” behavior in her handling of classified emails as secretary of state, but declared that “no charges are appropriate” in the case.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement Wednesday evening that she was accepting Comey’s recommendation and the case would be closed.

“There are a lot of questions that have to be answered. And so we’re going to be asking those questions,” House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters, adding that it looked like Clinton had gotten preferential treatment.

“We have seen nothing but stonewalling and dishonesty from Secretary Clinton on this issue, and that means there are a lot more questions that need to be answered.”

Ryan said Clinton should be barred from receiving classified briefings in the course of the campaign. He said he would be looking into whether Congress could take action to enact such a prohibition. And asked whether a special prosecutor should be appointed in the case, Ryan said he wouldn’t “foreclose any option.”

Ryan’s comments reflected widespread anger, even disbelief, among Republicans over Comey’s announcement.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the The National Education Association (NEA) Representative Assembly in Washington D.C., Tuesday, July 5, 2016. On Tuesday, FBI Director James Comey said the FBI will not recommend criminal charges in its investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the The National Education Association (NEA) Representative Assembly in Washington D.C., Tuesday, July 5, 2016. On Tuesday, FBI Director James Comey said the FBI will not recommend criminal charges in its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Comey delivered a stinging assessment of Clinton’s handling of classified emails, saying she should have known not to have sensitive discussions on an unclassified system and that she sent and received emails that were classified at the time, contrary to her claims.

But he followed up by saying no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges in such a case, partly because his investigators found no intentional or willful mishandling of classified information.

“The FBI’s recommendation is surprising and confusing,” Chaffetz said. “The fact pattern presented by Director Comey makes clear Secretary Clinton violated the law. Individuals who intentionally skirt the law must be held accountable.”

Democrats were furious over Chaffetz’s election-year decision to haul Comey before his committee.

“Republican after Republican praised Director Comey’s impeccable record of independence, right up until the moment he issued his conclusion,” said the committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland. “The only emergency here is that yet another Republican conspiracy theory is slipping away.”

Clinton’s spokesman, Brian Fallon, denounced Chaffetz’s hearing as “another taxpayer-funded sham.”

The House Judiciary Committee also announced that Lynch would appear to testify next week, as Republicans kept up their criticism of her recent brief tarmac meeting with former President Bill Clinton, which Lynch has described as unplanned and purely social. And No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, called for the FBI to make public its recent 3 1/2-hour interview with Clinton.

Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential candidate who looks certain to face Democrat Clinton for president, complained that the system is “rigged,” and that “it was no accident that charges were not recommended against Hillary the exact same day as President Obama campaigns with her for the first time.”

The FBI is supposed to be insulated from partisanship, with directors appointed to serve 10-year terms under legislation passed in 1976 following J. Edgar Hoover’s extraordinary 48-year tenure. Comey is a Republican first nominated to a senior Justice Department post by George W. Bush, where he served as deputy attorney general, and tapped to lead the FBI in 2013 by President Barack Obama.

Comey has tangled publicly with the Obama administration in the past, particularly over his public speculation that recent crime increases in some cities relate to police officers backing off out of concern for “viral videos” of their actions.

The FBI chief seemed to anticipate criticism over his decision on Clinton, offering something of a pre-buttal at the end of his statement Tuesday.

“I know there will be intense public debate in the wake of this recommendation, as there was throughout the investigation,” Comey said. “What I can assure the American people is that this investigation was done honestly, confidently and independently. No outside influence of any kind was brought to bear.”

Written by ERICA WERNER, AP Congressional Correspondent. Associated Press writer Matthew Daly contributed to this report.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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  • .... July 7, 2016 at 5:21 am

    Lmao ! Let it go….. the fix is in !!!!

  • Brian July 7, 2016 at 8:09 am

    This administration has officially turned the US into a kleptocracy (, putting certain individuals above the law for personal gain, collective power, and furthering their radical agenda.

    Before this regime the rising generation was largely color blind and had overcome racism and racial division, now we’re very divided.

    Before this regime the cops were the good guys (generally speaking), now they’re viewed as the bad guys that “act stupidly” and kill your children. Who in their right mind would want to be a cop in a big city now?

    Before this regime we had immigration laws that were enforced, now we don’t.

    Before this regime we created more businesses each year than went out of business, now we don’t (last year was the first time in our nations history that more businesses went out of business than were created).

    Before this regime was created the IRS had never been used as a partisan political weapon against the people, now it is regularly used that way.

    Before this regime gender meant something, and so did the “American Dream”.

    I’m so proud of our American heritage, our ideals, and our Constitution, and so ashamed and disgusted by what our government has become. We’ve gone from trickle-down-economics to trickle-down-corruption and trickle-down-degeneracy. The only roads back are long and bumpy.

  • Bender July 7, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Awesome. Chaffez has now doubled his vocabulary. Benghazi, emailgate, Benghazi, emailgate, Benghazi, emailgate.

    • Henry July 7, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      You’re such a funny husband, Bill. I haven’t laughed that hard since I successfully defended the child rapist that I knew was guilty.

      • Bender July 7, 2016 at 5:44 pm

        Glad to oblige you, Ezra Taft McCarthy.

        There are two distasteful candidates being presented this fall. The one with the orange face is not even remotely qualified to sit in the big chair. I’d like to see Chaffez and his partisan hack buddies concentrate on governing and less on incessantly beating the Benghazi drums and second guessing the career employees at Justice and FBI.

        • Henry July 8, 2016 at 11:22 am

          Bender – so following your logic, the 1970s Watergate hearings were partisan affairs that shouldn’t have occurred, so Nixon and Congress could “concentrate on governing”?

          If “second guessing the career employees at Justice and FBI” refers to emailgate – I was still a federal government employee with an SCI/TS clearance at the time that occurred. I have personally seen careers end for a single security violation, while Hillary violated literally dozens of them.

          What is your solution to the “two distasteful candidates”, that you seemingly consider equivalent? Just crawl into the fetal position and wail?

          • Bender July 8, 2016 at 3:52 pm

            Henry, you confuse a criminal investigation with a personnel disciplinary manner. A Republican appointed FBI director with a reputation for not pulling his punches declined to prosecute criminally. Clinton’s actions were wrong and I’m guessing would have eventually led to her termination had they come to light during her tenure.

            The American voter is the one that is going to decide whether or not she is fit for office. I’m no Clinton fan but matched up with the carnival barker heading the Republican ticket she is by far the most qualified statesman… I’ll vote for her in a heartbeat given this “Sophie’s Choice”. This freaking disaster of an election is the direct result of the rotting of the core of the Republican party. The Republicans will never hold the presidency again if the party stays in the grip of the wild-eye, uncompromising, loony right wing. The only candidate that could run the Republican primary gauntlet of Christian warriors, NRA gun nuts, no tax promises, anti-science, Tea Party looneyness, and anti free trade rhetoric was the lying orange clown. Clinton is such a seriously flawed candidate — this should have been the Republican’s year for the Oval Office. I would have gladly voted for Romney, this year and in 2012, had he been able to navigate the primary process without sullying himself with bowing down to the ugly far right.

          • Henry July 9, 2016 at 11:47 am

            Bender – calling Hillary’s Benghazi and email affairs as “personal disciplinary manner” is a rather bizarre characterization. The background of the FBI Director is irrelevant; actually read all of his statement. Despite his very questionable decision not to prosecute, Comey systematically destroyed all of Hillary’s previous claims. Even the Washington Post and Politifact (both left leaning publications) each awarded Hillary 4 out of 4 Pinnochios for her totally false representation on this matter.

            I do agree with you that the American voter will decide in Novemer who is fit for the office of the Presidency. If your favorite Hillary wins, it won’t matter who the Republicans nominate in 2020 – a recycled Romney or anyone else – the U.S. at the national level will effectively have transitioned to a one-party country.

          • Bender July 9, 2016 at 5:28 pm

            Am unable to comment on your July 9, 2016 at 11:47 am post Henry, so this is attached to an earlier post.

            Henry, I was not calling the Clinton email investigation a “personal” disciplinary matter. I was referring to the disciplinary actions you referenced seeing during your federal tenure and I called them a “personnel” disciplinary manner. Please take the time to read what I actually posted before firing off a response.

            I am not defending Clinton’s actions and do not at all approve. I shook my head in amazement when it became clear what actually happened. Clinton is not my favorite but she won’t be the end of the world any more than Obama has been. What’s really in terrible condition at the end of 8 years of the Obama administration is the state of the Republican party. It’s turned into a cesspool of paranoia and ugly partisanship with no interest in actually governing, only posturing. Not sure how any sane, honest, clear thinking voter can feel good about being called a Republican right now.

          • Henry July 10, 2016 at 4:25 pm

            Bender – then you need to write more clearly and concisely to what you refer. But your premise is flawed; the analogy I made was appropriate. The security violations to which I referred are the same ones that Hillary violated, according to Director Comey – improper handling of classified material, failure to utilize approved email means, and “extreme carelessness” in protecting national security.

            I agree with you on the sad current state of the Republican Party, but disagree with causes. I think much of the animosity and backstabbing is caused by individuals jockeying to become the 2020 nominee, or individuals like Romney jockeying to be the kingmaker of these nominees. All these individuals are more concerned about their personal gain than the good of the country.

            I’m sure we’ll have more debate in future threads. Can’t we be civil in our disagreements, rather than trying to out-insult and out-snark one another like the politicians?

    • Brian July 7, 2016 at 5:11 pm

      Yeah, what difference does it make now, right? We should just get over it and move on from Benghazi, because who needs honesty, transparency, and accountability anyways? It’s fine when our government lies to us and people die, because they know better than us little people. The fact that they were running guns to the enemy and let honorable men die to cover it up is a minor blip on the historical radar. We have far more important things to talk about now, like the Kardashians and the latest movies. We can’t be bothered with facts and principles. Sheesh, get over it people. Let it go already, Chaffetz! Corrupt politicians are depending on you and your mentality, Bender. Thanks for being so dependable, they appreciate it.

      • Bender July 8, 2016 at 10:42 am

        Nah, I just want to see the Republicans govern. Right now all I see is preening, posturing and playing to the rabid right and the paranoid, like you Brian. Chaffez is especially good at tickling at this.

  • Bob July 7, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Hitler’s campaign sure has lots of scandals. Can’t they pick us a better dictator to run on the neo-lib ticket? Even if they must still have a woman, they can do a lot better.

  • .... July 8, 2016 at 5:03 am


    • ladybugavenger July 10, 2016 at 3:15 pm

      No thanks unless it’s PREZ of my powered recliner couch. Then I’m a winner!

  • .... July 11, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Paints racing stripes and puts headlights and a stereo system on Ladybugs recliner and adds a rubber raft and a boat prop just in case the big quake hits and St George ends up as ocean front property. LOL !

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