The Justice Department Inspector General testified Tuesday that his office’s most recent report did not include a comprehensive review of agents at the FBI’s New York field office looking for evidence that they opposed Hillary Clinton and leaked damaging information about her during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, cited a section from the IG’s report in which former Attorney General Loretta Lynch claimed to be quoting former FBI Director James Comey about the “deep and visceral hatred” of Clinton among a “cadre of senior people in New York.”
“Is there evidence and, in fact, there were people in the FBI office in New York who were very — who had a hatred of Secretary Clinton?” Nadler asked.
“We looked at individuals connected to the Midyear review, and we were not out there looking at every single FBI agent’s personal devices, text messages, who had no role in the Midyear investigation,” Inspector General Michael Horowitz replied.
As the IG report showed, multiple senior FBI officials believed a fear of leaks from anti-Clinton FBI agents in New York prompted Comey to break from precedent and publicly announce the reopening of the Clinton email investigation days before the election.
The IG’s office did not come to a conclusion on whether Comey was in fact motivated by a fear of leaks, and the report did not address the issue of leaks from the New York office to allies of the Trump campaign, including Rudy Giuliani. Horowitz declined during a Monday Senate Judiciary hearing to expound on any evidence his office discovered of anti-Clinton leaks.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Horowitz said that only the communications of former FBI officials Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, two other unnamed agents, and one lawyer at the bureau were scrutinized.
“You didn’t look at other agents like in the New York office?” Nadler asked.
“We did not look at agents beyond the Midyear team, the Clinton email investigation team,” Horowitz replied.