Report on FBI’s Clinton email probe coming Thursday

Former FBI Director James Comey arrives for a taping of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s internal watchdog is coming later this week, likely on Thursday, President Donald Trump’s birthday. The inspector general will report on the agency’s handling of an inquiry into the management of emails by former presidential candidate Hilary Clinton.

Congressional committees are also currently investigating the FBI’s handling of the inquiry in 2016. Last week, fired former Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe sought immunity from prosecution for testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The U.S. Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, said in a letter that most of the process to sign off on the report and protect classified information it may contain “is now complete, and we anticipate releasing the report on June 14, 2018.”

He also said in the letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that he will appear at the committee’s June 18 hearing on the FBI’s actions in advance of the 2016 presidential election.

The House of Representatives Judiciary and Oversight Committees also announced on Thursday they will hold a hearing the next day on June 19.

The inspector general’s report will conclude an examination into former FBI Director James Comey’s statements in August 2016 that no charges would be brought against Clinton, and his subsequent announcement days before the election that the FBI was reopening its investigation into her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

The agency was concerned that Clinton’s use of a nongovernment computer server may have jeopardized classified information.

The report also is expected to address whether active and retired FBI agents in New York leaked information about investigations of the Clinton Foundation charitable organization and the discovery of a trove of Clinton-related emails shortly before the November 2016 election.

Law enforcement officials previously told Reuters information about the email trove was leaked to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, an adviser to the Trump campaign who subsequently discussed the contents on Fox News Channel days before Comey informed Congress of the discovery.

Horowitz’s office has sought to determine whether the leaks influenced Comey’s decision 11 days before the election to announce the reopening of the Clinton email investigation.

“This issue has the potential of energizing a GOP red wave, offsetting the highly touted Democratic blue wave,” said Raleigh-based political analyst John Davis. “At the very least, the IG report will give President Trump enough Twitter ammunition to discredit Mueller’s investigation throughout the fall elections.”

Those close to the process have said on condition of anonymity that the report is longer than the 500-page report of the Fast and Furious scandal of the Obama administration, in which officials allowed the sale of illegal firearms in order to track them. Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was cited for contempt in the case.

Reuters News Service contributed to this report.