In breaking news Sunday, South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told Maria Bartiromo on FOX News’ SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES that a newly declassified document proves the FBI used different standards in investigating Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Pardon me while I recover from the shock. Does anybody have some smelling salts?
The way Graham explained it, in March of 2015, one month before Hillary officially announced she was running for President, the FBI discovered a plot by “a foreign government” (not specified) to lobby her campaign and funnel millions of dollars illegally into her campaign. (Shock; need more smelling salts!) So they opened an investigation and applied for a FISA warrant against “a Clinton operative who was connected to the foreign government.”
The 7th floor at the FBI (the same 7th floor that later wanted the Flynn investigation kept open even though there was no evidence he’d broken the law) told investigators they couldn’t get a warrant unless they first defensively briefed the Clinton campaign. So the FBI actually did that –- they TOLD the Clinton campaign about what they had found. And they never did get the FISA warrant to do surveillance on the Clinton campaign. This is exactly how they should have handled any information they’d received about Russia trying to “meddle” and infiltrate the Trump campaign. It's simple: you go to the Trump campaign!
But note how differently Trump’s campaign was handled. The FBI opened multiple counterintelligence investigations against associates of the Trump campaign –- including George Papadopoulos, Carter Page and Michael Flynn –- and chose not to tell Trump about their suspicions, even though that would normally be the thing to do and they could have done it during his intelligence briefing.
No, the briefing they gave candidate Trump was just about general threats, the same kind of intelligence they would have provided to anyone running for President. In fact, they even used that briefing as pretense to send an additional agent in, specifically to monitor the behavior of (translation: SPY ON) Flynn and Trump.
Graham said the comparison between these two situations showed “the ultimate double standard.”
According to this newly-released document, a special agent on the Clinton case wondered why they “had not received a clear answer as to why we are not being allowed to use one of the only tools available against a target (REDACTED) FISA collection –- in spite of clear justification.” Of course, we know the answer; they weren’t allowed to use “FISA collection” because, Hillary. And maybe in Hillary's case they really HAD clear justification. I don't think I'd need my smelling salts if I heard that.
Anyway, a year later, the FBI should have treated the Trump campaign with equal care, but we now know in great detail how they did handle it. Then, in January of 2017, after he was elected, the FBI field office investigating Flynn wanted to close that investigation, but Peter Strzok told them the “7th floor” wanted to keep it open. (That was the day before the big January 5 Oval Office meeting.) This couldn’t have been more different from the way the FBI had treated Hillary a year earlier.
We’re not even talking about the kid-glove treatment Hillary got during the “Mid-year Exam,” the FBI’s investigation of her use of a private email server for official State Department business. It shows that the FBI can do things by the book –- but that they threw the rules out the window when Trump entered the race.