A pair of senior Democratic lawmakers are calling on the Justice Department to investigate leaks from the FBI about its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email system.
Specifically, the lawmakers want to know how former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, an adviser to Donald Trump, obtained information about a letter FBI Director James Comey sent to Congress a week ago, announcing that investigators had found new emails that might be “pertinent” to the Clinton case.
Giuliani appeared on “Fox & Friends” Friday morning and confirmed that he had heard about Comey’s letter before it was sent, though he denied he had tried to disseminate the information.
“I did nothing to get it out, and I had no role in it,” he said. But he continued, “Did I hear about it? You’re darn right I heard about it, and I can’t even repeat the language that I heard from the former FBI agents.”
Reps. Elijah Cummings and John Conyers, respectively the top Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Judiciary Committee, wrote to the Justice Department inspector general on Friday afternoon asking him to investigate the source of the information to Giuliani.
Calling it “absolutely unacceptable” for the FBI to disclose information about a candidate so close to an election, the lawmakers said, “Leaking this information to former FBI officials as a conduit to the Trump campaign is equally intolerable.”
The lawmakers also pointed to a claim by Fox News journalist Bret Baier on Wednesday that the FBI was “actively and aggressively” investigating the Clinton Foundation and that an indictment was “likely.” Baier later retracted that claim, calling his report “a mistake.”
“These unauthorized and inaccurate leaks from within the FBI, particularly so close to a presidential election, are unprecedented,” Cummings and Conyers wrote. “For this reason, we are calling on your office to conduct a thorough investigation to identify the sources of these and other leaks from the FBI and to recommend appropriate action.”
Earlier this week, The Daily Beast reported on Giuliani’s ties to current and former FBI officials. One of Giuliani’s security firms employed a former head of the New York FBI field office, and other alumni of it. It was the New York agents’ probing of disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner’s alleged sexting with a 15-year old girl that led the FBI to thousands of emails that may be related to Clinton’s server. Weiner’s estranged wife, Huma Abedin, is one of Clinton’s closest aides.
Multiple reports quoting anonymous current and former FBI officials have painted a picture of a law enforcement agency in crisis, with some line-level investigators convinced there is enough evidence to pursue projections of Clinton and others in her orbit. Some of those agents claim that their investigations have been slow-rolled by officials in Washington.