Hillary Clinton’s campaign pushed back against overreaching media reports of an FBI probe into the Clinton Foundation possibly leading to an indictment, calling them “baseless.”
Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon on Thursday called on the FBI to “publicly” clarify the extent of their inquiry into quid-pro-quo allegations involving donors to the family’s foundation and favors from Clinton’s State Department.
FBI should say so publicly to put a stop to these baseless Fox News reports. https://t.co/1akIsz0Ddm
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) November 3, 2016
Fallon’s tweet included a link to an NBC report that refuted a Fox News story citing anonymous sources close to what they described as the FBI’s “very high priority” probe into the foundation, which they said would “likely” result in an indictment. By the time Fox walked the report back, noting that only a prosecutor could make the decision to indict, it had already been widely circulated by Donald Trump and conservative news sites.
According to NBC’s justice correspondent, Pete Williams, the Clinton Foundation inquiry doesn’t even deserve to be called an investigation.
“There really isn’t one,” Williams said, when asked about the status of the investigation. “Few want to call it an investigation. That’s a term of art in the FBI. There was an initial inquiry that was opened a couple months ago based largely on media reports and a book called ‘Clinton Cash.’”
Williams also said his FBI sources told him there was “no such view” that five foreign intelligence entities had hacked Clinton’s private email server, as the same Fox News report claimed.
ABC News, The New York Times and other publications have also thrown cold water on reports that there is much behind the Clinton Foundation inquiry. According to a Thursday ABC report, early findings in the probe were “not impressive” and both FBI officials and Justice Department prosecutors agreed against moving forward with it.