Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Wilkinson letters

The attorney representing Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson worked in cahoots with the damn Justice Department to establish the terms under which the FBI could investigate the entire Clinton email scandal.

Yeah, for real:

Department of Justice (DOJ) officials let the attorney for two of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s closest aides shape the FBI’s investigation into her private email server, including allowing the assistants to destroy official records and laptops.
Four leaders of key House and Senate oversight committees pointed to two June 10, 2016, letters Beth Wilkinson drafted in conjunction with DOJ officials saying the FBI could only review Clinton email archives dated between June 1, 2014, and Feb. 1, 2015, and maintained by the Colorado firm Platte River Networks. The letters also “memorialized” the FBI’s agreement allowing the Clinton aides to destroy their records and laptops.
“The Wilkinson letters raise serious questions about why DOJ would consent to such substantial limitations on the scope of its investigation, and how Director (James) Comey’s statements on the scope of the investigation comport with the reality of what the FBI was permitted to investigate,” the four told Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a letter made public Wednesday. “This is simply astonishing given the likelihood that evidence on the laptops would be of interest to congressional investigators.”
The four included Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Chuck Grassley; House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz; House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte; and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes.

The DOJ agreed to Wilkinson’s terms after learning Clinton IT tech Paul Combetta used BleachBit to delete Clinton’s emails, “further casting doubt on why the FBI would enter into such a limited evidentiary scope of review with respect to the laptops,” the congressional leaders said.
“These limitations would necessarily have excluded, for example, any emails from Cheryl Mills to Paul Combetta in late 2014 or early 2015 directing the destruction or concealment of federal records,” the congressmen wrote. “Similarly, these limitations would have excluded any email sent or received by Secretary Clinton if it was not sent or received by one of the four email addresses listed, or the email address was altered.”
The DOJ granted immunity to Mills, Samuelson, Combetta, and two other Clinton aides — Bryan Pagliano and John Bentel.
You owe it to yourself to also read Andrew McCarthy's piece about this at NRO:

For anyone who worked in the Justice Department for any length of time, the striking of side deals with a defense lawyer (in this instance, Beth Wilkinson, who represents both Ms. Mills and Ms. Samuelson) is bracing. Written agreements with the Justice Department (regarding, for example, guilty pleas and cooperation) customarily include a clause explaining that the four corners of the document contain the entirety of the understandings between the parties. This is done precisely because defendants often claim they were enticed into signing the agreement because of this or that side deal purportedly agreed to by the government. The Justice Department likes to be able to say, “We don’t engage in those sorts of shenanigans. The agreement is the single agreement as written.” Why did the Justice Department make side deals in this case (which we’ve been told was treated like any other case . . . except, alas, when it wasn’t)?

More fundamentally, as I’ve been arguing since we learned of the immunity agreements, why did the government grant immunity in the first place? Unfortunately, the question, at this point, is rhetorical. Immunity was granted because the Justice Department would not use the grand jury against Mrs. Clinton. 
Let this sear the forefront of your mind in the remaining days until November 8.


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