Politics August 17, 2016: FBI hands Congress over Clinton interview notes investigation report

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POLITICS

FBI hands Congress over Clinton interview notes investigation report

By Bonnie K. Goodman

WASHINGTON D.C., July 7, 2016-- U.S. FBI Director James Comey swears an oath before the House Oversight Committee over investigation into Hillary Clinton's email system, on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, July 7, 2016. U.S. FBI Director James Comey on Thursday defended his decision not to recommend charges against Hillary Clinton, but refuted several of her statements to justify the use of private email setup as secretary of state. (Xinhua/Bao Dandan via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON D.C., July 7, 2016– U.S. FBI Director James Comey swears an oath before the House Oversight Committee over investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email system, on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, July 7, 2016. U.S. FBI Director James Comey on Thursday defended his decision not to recommend charges against Hillary Clinton, but refuted several of her statements to justify the use of private email setup as secretary of state. (Xinhua/Bao Dandan via Getty Images)

The FBI handed over its report on their decision not to recommend criminal charges for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over her private email server to Congress. The FBI sent the classified report originally for the Department of Justice and interview memos, called 302s to the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016, following through on their request. The House is also is also request the DOJ file charges because Clinton perjured herself in her sworn testimony to the House’s Benghazi committee.

FBI Acting Assistant Director Jason V. Herring included a letter to “House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz” and “ranking Democratic member, Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings” re-explaining the bureau’s decision not to charge Clinton. Herring wrote, “The FBI conducted this investigation, as it does all investigations, in a competent, honest and independent way. As the director stated, the FBI did find evidence that Secretary Clinton and her colleagues were extremely careless in their handling of certain, very sensitive, highly classified information.”

Continuing Herring clarified, “The term ‘extremely careless’ was intended to be a common sense way of describing the actions of Secretary Clinton and her colleagues. The director did not equate ‘extreme carelessness’ with the legal standard of ‘gross negligence’ that is required by the statute. In this case, the FBI assessed that the facts did not support a recommendation to prosecute her or others within the scope of the investigation for gross negligence.” Herring also suggested that usually what Clinton would be subject to is “severe administrative consequences.”

Among the documents, the FBI handed over was the summary of Clinton’s three and a half hour interview with the bureau that took place last month. FBI Director James Comey promised the reports and memos when he testified on July 7 before the House Oversight panel, saying he would do “everything I can possibly give you under the law and to doing it as quickly as possible.”

The documents are considered classified and will never be made public. Republicans are trying to keep Clinton’s email scandal in the limelight the election, hoping it can damage her bid for the presidency despite leading Republican Donald Trump in the polls. The FBI issued a statement warning that the information should not be made public, writing, “The material contains classified and other sensitive information and is being provided with the expectation it will not be disseminated or disclosed without FBI concurrence.”

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) issued a statement, however, arguing the documents should be made available to the public. Grassley wrote, “On initial review, it seems that much of the material given to the Senate today, other than copies of the large number of emails on Secretary Clinton’s server containing classified information, is marked ‘unclassified/for official use.’ The FBI should make as much of the material available as possible. The public’s business ought to be public, with few exceptions. The people’s interest would be served in seeing the documents that are unclassified. The FBI has made public statements in describing its handling of the case, so sharing documents in support of those statements wherever appropriate would make sense.”
Clinton campaign responded with a statement, “This is an extraordinarily rare step that was sought solely by Republicans for the purposes of further second-guessing the career professionals at the FBI. We believe that if these materials are going to be shared outside the Justice Department, they should be released widely so that the public can see them for themselves, rather than allow Republicans to mischaracterize them through selective, partisan leaks.”

The spokesperson for the House Oversight Committee confirmed receipt in a statement, “The FBI has turned over a ‘number of documents’ related to their investigation of former Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email server. Committee staff is currently reviewing the information that is classified SECRET. There are no further details at this time.”

Congressional Republican are looking to make sure Clinton pays as CNN pointed out a “political price” for her actions during her tenure at the State Department since the FBI did not recommend criminal charges. Reps. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia sent a letter to the Department of Justice asking the DOJ to charge Clinton with perjury claiming she perjured herself during her testimony to the House’s Benghazi committee.

Republicans are accusing Clinton of lying four times in her testimony to the committee saying what she said countered what she told the FBI. In the letter, Chaffetz and Goodlatte wrote, “The evidence collected by the (FBI) during its investigation of Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email system during her time as secretary of state appears to directly contradict several aspects of her sworn testimony.”

On Monday, Aug. 15, 35 Republicans led by Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) called on Comey to release Clinton’s interview notes because they believe she perjured herself. Tuesday morning before the documents were handed over Marino appeared on Fox News where he said about Clinton, “That she lied under oath to Congress when she came into testify. And if she lied, she perjured herself. She lied to Congress, therefore she can be prosecuted and spend as long as 10 years in prison for doing that. The director of the FBI, the Justice Department, in my opinion, they’re taking direction from the White House saying, ‘Do nothing about this.'”

Politics June 23, 2016: House Democrats hold sit-in protesting over gun control pledge no bill no break

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House Democrats hold sit-in protesting over gun control pledge no bill no break

By Bonnie K. Goodman

June 23, 2016 9:43 AM MST
Democrats staged a sit-in on the House floor on Wednesday and demanded a vote on gun control legislation.

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Democrats staged a sit-in on the House floor on Wednesday and demanded a vote on gun control legislation.
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Politics December 4, 2014: GOP House passes bill to roll back immigration executive actions Obama vows veto

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December 4, 2014, 3:41 PM MST

Speaker John Boehner steered the House of Representatives’ passing of a bill nullifying President Barack Obama sweeping executive action on immigration and deportation, Dec. 4, 2014

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The Republican controlled House of Representatives voted 219 to 197 on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 to pass a bill that would scale back President Barack Obama‘s recent executive actions on immigration reform. The bill and its message are mostly symbolic since the lame duck Democratic Senate will not pass the bill and President Obama has promised to veto it.

The bill H.R.5759 entitled “Executive Amnesty Prevention Act of 2014” is meant “To establish a rule of construction clarifying the limitations on executive authority to provide certain forms of immigration relief” basically makes the president’s actions “null and void and without legal effect.” Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla. Sponsored the bill that also had an addition 17 co-sponsors. Of the votes cast three Democrats crossed party lines to vote with Republicans supporting the bill while seven Republicans voted with the Democrats opposing it.

The president’s actions that would pre vent the deportations of 4.7 million illegal immigrants in the country who have children who are citizens or permanent residents of the US. The actions would provide them work permits, social security numbers and allow them to pay taxes for the next three years. The 10-point executive actions essentially give amnesty to the illegal immigrants. Among those in the immigrant community, many feel the actions do not go far enough, and the public in general opposes the president taking unilateral action on this issue.

The Republican Congress and its leadership strongly oppose them. President Obama announced his plans just two weeks after the GOP won more seats in the House and took control of the Senate, Republicans do not believe the president has the mandate or the Constitutional rights to make laws Congress has to decide upon and is their responsibility. Among the GOP’s varied solutions include shutting down the government in an attempt to defund the actions, suing, censuring or even impeaching the president.

President Obama has promised to veto the bill if by any chance it passes the Senate. The White House issued a statement of administration policy against the bill on Thursday. The policy paper accused the GOP’s bill of trying promote lawlessness and cause economic problems, while praising the president’s actions, and declaring “If the President were presented with H.R. 5759, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”

The White House listed that “H.R. 5759 would make the broken immigration system worse, not better. By attempting to restrict the Administration’s ability to conduct national security and criminal background checks on undocumented immigrants…. would make the Nation’s communities less safe. By attempting to make it more difficult for undocumented workers to register and pay taxes, the bill would hurt the Nation’s economy as well.”

In an attempt to be dramatic and vilify the GOP as much as possible, the White House also listed all the dire consequences of the bill passing. Continuing, the administration stated; “The bill’s objective is clearly to nullify and block implementation of these executive actions, which would have devastating consequences. It would lead to the separation of families and prevent additional DREAMers from fully contributing to American life. It would also make it more difficult for immigration officials to conduct background checks, for undocumented workers to help the economy by paying taxes, and for the Federal government to focus on removing serious criminals, recent border crossers, and other threats.”

President Obama also personally spoke out against the GOP bill at a College Opportunity Summit on Thursday, emphasizing the effect blocking his actions would have on students. Obama expressed; “But it does not make sense for us to want to push talent out, rather than make sure that they’re staying here and contributing to society. So rather than deport students and separate families and make it harder for law enforcement to do its job, I just want the Congress to work with us to pass a commonsense law to fix that broken immigration system.”

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH stated at the GOP leadership press conference on Thursday the Republican members of the House “will make clear today that we are rejecting unilateral actions.” While House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-LA commented on why the House voted on the bill, explaining, “The president thinks he can just sit in the Oval Office and make up his own laws. That’s not the way our system of government works. This legislation says you can’t do that, Mr. President. There is a rule of law.”

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Bonnie K. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University, and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program. She covers US, Canadian & Israeli politics, with a particular focus on the Obama presidency, Congress, domestic policy, and elections.

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