The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the Department of Justice Inspector General Wednesday requesting that his office investigate multiple instances of serious breaches of professional ethics and potential violations of law at this department.
“It is vital that the American people have confidence in the ability of the Department to be impartial with regard to criminal inquiries related to senior officials and candidates for high office,” wrote Sen. Charles Grassley (R.-Iowa), whose committe has direct oversight of the Department of Justice. “Yet, the Justice Department has failed to appoint a special counsel to ensure that these inquiries are insulated from the appearance that decisions are being made based on political considerations rather than on the merits.”
The chairman attached two previous letters to highlight his long-running concerns with the attorney general: “Attached please find two previous letters that I sent to the FBI relating to Attorney General Lynch’s potential conflicts and the FBI’s second in command, Andrew McCabe and his potential conflicts related to Clinton fundraiser, Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Additionally recent reports have also illustrated long running, close ties between Peter Kadzik and the Clinton’s inner circle.”
Kadzik is a friend of John Podesta, the chairman of the Hillary R. Clinton presidential campaign, and the Wikileaks posts have exposed the depth of that friendship as Kadsik, from his senior perch inside the State Department, regularly passed internal information to Podesta, especially when dealing with how the department was managing the disclosure of Clinton’s emails from her tenure as secretary of state.
One of the most illustrative emails posted by WikiLeaks shows that Kadzik is a true agent provocateur on behalf of the Clinton campaign:
From: *Peter Kadzik* <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Subject: Heads up
To: John Podesta <email@example.com>
There is a HJC oversight hearing today where the head of our Civil DivisionKadzik-
will testify. Likely to get questions on State Department emails. Another
filing in the FOIA case went in last night or will go in this am that
indicates it will be awhile (2016) before the State Department posts the
Grassley wrote to Michael E. Horowitz, the State Department’s inspector general, with his own catalog:
As the senior official in the Office of Legislative Affairs, Mr. Kadzik is being allowed to participate in decisions about what information on these matters will be disclosed to Congressional oversight committees. Reports have noted that Mr. Kadzik continues a very close relationship with John Podesta, the Chairman of Secretary Clinton’s presidential campaign. For instance, news reports have noted:
• Mr. Kadzik represented Mr. Podesta during the Monica Lewinsky investigation.
• Mr. Kadzik lobbied Mr. Podesta for then-President Bill Clinton to pardon Marc Rich. On this point, the House Committee on Government Reform found that Mr. Kadzik was hired by Marc Rich because of his connections with Mr. Podesta.
• Mr. Podesta emailed Obama campaign officials to recommend Mr. Kadzik for a role in the Obama campaign and called Mr. Kadzik a “fantastic lawyer” that “kept me out of jail.”
• Mr. Kadzik met with Mr. Podesta for dinner one day after Secretary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony. Mr. Kadzik also met at Mr. Podesta’s home for dinner on January 13, 2016. During both times the FBI was still investigating Secretary Clinton.
• On May 5, 2015, Mr. Kadzik’s son asked Mr. Podesta for a job on the Clinton campaign.
• On May 19, 2015, Mr. Kadzik emailed Mr. Podesta and warned, “[t]here is a HJC oversight hearing today where the head of our Civil Division will testify. Likely to get questions on State Department emails. Another filing in the FOIA case went in last night or will go in this am that indicates it will be awhile (2016) before the State Department posts the emails.”
“Given these facts, Mr. Kadzik’s relationship with the Clintons and their associates is incompatible with the ability of Congress to have any confidence in his ability to be fair and impartial in advising on decisions about how to respond to Congressional oversight inquiries related to these matters,” the senator wrote.
Then, there is the case of Andrew McCabe, the number two man at the Federal Bureau of Investigations, who was previously the agent-in-charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
The Iowa senator requested information about the circumstances of the G-Man’s wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, who received massive support from the governor of Virginia and the chairman of Clinton’s 2008 presidential run for the doctor’s own 2015 campaign for state senate.
At the FBI, Mr. McCabe’s wife accepted more than half a million dollars from entities associated with Gov. Terry McAuliffe for her political campaign. Given Gov. McAuliffe’s ties to the Clintons and the control Mr. McCabe later exerted over the Clinton investigation, some have suggested that there is at least the appearance of a conflict. All government employees must avoid situations that create the appearance of impropriety. Specifically, 5 C.F.R. § 2635.502, advises that a government employee should seek clearance before participating in any matter that could cause his or her impartiality to be questioned.
The chairman must have wondered where it all ends, when he wrote: “Against the backdrop of these apparent conflicts, the public has also learned that the Justice Department entered into unusual immunity agreements with all of Secretary Clinton’s close associates. These immunity agreements inexplicably limited the scope in which the FBI could review relevant emails.”
Typically, the Justice Department trades immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony and or information that leads to someone’s prosecution and conviction.
In the case of the Clinton private email scandal, there were plenty of immunity deals, but no prosecution, especially after the FBI decided to put guard rails on its probe, focusing on the Espionage Act and ignoring all other possible violations of the law.
“In addition, the public now knows that the investigation’s scope was arbitrarily limited to classifications issues, with little or no effort to make a case against anyone for intentionally alienating federal records to subvert the Freedom of Information Act process and potentially obstruct Congress,” said Grassley.
“In light of all of this, an independent, objective, non-partisan review is vital. The American people deserve to know whether political considerations have improperly affected the handling of this inquiry and understand why key officials failed to recuse themselves to protect the public’s confidence in a fair and impartial inquiry based on merits and the evidence rather than on politics,” the senator said.
The senator, who is considered Capitol Hill’s top guardian angel of government whistle blowers, requested a response by Nov. 7.