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FBI Director Comey Called Before House Oversight Committee

FBI Director James Comey has been called to testify before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform about his recent announcement that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would face no legal repercussions or indictment for her violations of US statutes regarding the lawful handling of sensitive information. The hearing will occur just 48 hours after Comey’s announcement that while Mrs. Clinton had broken the law, the FBI would not be recommending charges. The committee, currently consisting of 17 Democratic and 24 Republican members, is chaired by Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R). Its Vice Chair is Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D).

Said committee Chairman Chaffetz,

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

Not surprisingly, the committee’s Vice Chair responded differently, saying,

“The only emergency here is that yet another Republican conspiracy theory is slipping away.”

Congressional scrutiny will focus, among other things, on specific statements Director Comey made in his press conference.

“In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information, or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct, or indications of disloyalty to the United States, or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.”

This explanation was delivered, in an astonishing display of disingenuousness and contradiction, during the same statement in which he described Mrs. Clinton as, among other things, “extremely careless.” He also noted that some of the e-mails in question were classified Top Secret and had been been accessed by “hostile actors.”

In the official announcement released this morning, the Committee quotes Chairman Chaffetz.

“The FBI’s recommendation is surprising and confusing. The fact pattern presented by Director Comey makes clear Secretary Clinton violated the law. Individuals who intentionally skirt the law must be held accountable. Congress and the American people have a right to understand the depth and breadth of the FBI’s investigation. I thank Director Comey for accepting the invitation to publicly answer these important questions.”

The hearing is scheduled for 10am, July 7 at the Rayburn House Office Building. In addition to that of Director Comey, testimony will be heard from Steve Linick, the Inspector General for the Department of State, and Mr. I. Charles McCullough III, Inspector General for the Intelligence Community.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch (Director Comey’s boss), who met with Secretary Clinton’s husband former President Bill Clinton in Phoenix prior to the FBI’s announcement, was previously scheduled to testify in front of the House Judiciary Committee next Tuesday.

You can watch Director Comey’s statement here:

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