Clin­ton lost, but Repub­li­cans still want to in­ves­ti­gate her

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton lost the 2016 elec­tion to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, but some Repub­li­cans in Con­gress are in­ten­si­fy­ing their calls to in­ves­ti­gate her and other Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials. As in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Rus­sian med­dling and pos­si­ble links to Trump’s cam­paign have es­ca­lated on both sides of the Capi­tol, some Repub­li­cans ar­gue that the in­ves­ti­ga­tions should have a greater fo­cus on Democrats.

Democrats who have pushed the elec­tion probes “have started a war of in­ves­tiga­tive at­tri­tion,” said GOP Rep. Steve King of Iowa, a mem­ber of the House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee. Sev­eral of­fi­cials from for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion and Clin­ton’s cam­paign have ap­peared be­fore or been in­ter­viewed by the House and Se­nate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tees as part of the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion, along with Trump cam­paign of­fi­cials.

The GOP-led com­mit­tees are in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether Trump’s cam­paign had any links to Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in last year’s elec­tion. The chair­man of the House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has con­tin­ued a sep­a­rate in­ves­ti­ga­tion into whether Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials in­ap­pro­pri­ately made re­quests to “un­mask” iden­ti­ties of Trump cam­paign of­fi­cials in in­tel­li­gence re­ports.

The House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, which has de­clined to in­ves­ti­gate the Rus­sian med­dling, ap­proved a res­o­lu­tion this past week to re­quest doc­u­ments re­lated to the FBI’s now-closed in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Clin­ton’s emails. In ad­di­tion, Repub­li­can on that com­mit­tee wrote the Jus­tice Depart­ment on Thurs­day and asked for a sec­ond spe­cial coun­sel, in ad­di­tion to Spe­cial Coun­sel Robert Mueller, to in­ves­ti­gate “un­ad­dressed mat­ters, some con­nected to the 2016 elec­tion and oth­ers, in­clud­ing many ac­tions taken by Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.”

“The Amer­i­can pub­lic has a right to know the facts - all of them - sur­round­ing the elec­tion and its af­ter­math,” the law­mak­ers wrote. Repub­li­cans want to in­ves­ti­gate the un­mask­ing is­sue and also Clin­ton’s email scan­dal that fig­ured promi­nently in the cam­paign. They also fre­quently bring up for­mer At­tor­ney Gen­eral Loretta Lynch, and for­mer FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey’s tes­ti­mony that she told him to call the Clin­ton email in­ves­ti­ga­tion a “mat­ter” in­stead of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion dur­ing the cam­paign.

Nunes wrote his own letter to Di­rec­tor of Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Dan Coats last week, say­ing that his com­mit­tee has learned that one Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial had made “hun­dreds” of the un­mask­ing re­quests. Even though he re­mains com­mit­tee chair­man, Nunes stepped back from the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion earlier this year af­ter he was crit­i­cized for be­ing too close to the White House. Rep. Mike Con­away, R-Texas, took over the lead­ing role.

The com­mit­tee has con­ducted bi­par­ti­san in­ter­views of wit­nesses; Trump son-in-law Jared Kush­ner ap­peared on Tues­day, a day af­ter talk­ing to Se­nate staff. But par­ti­san ten­sions have been ev­i­dent. GOP Rep. Pete King of New York, who’s on the House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee, said af­ter the Kush­ner in­ter­view that the com­mit­tee in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Rus­sian med­dling is a “sham.”

“To me there is noth­ing to this from the be­gin­ning,” he said of his com­mit­tee’s own probe. “There is no col­lu­sion ... it’s the phoni­est in­ves­ti­ga­tion ever.” Both the Se­nate and House com­mit­tees have in­ter­viewed or ex­pressed in­ter­est in in­ter­view­ing a se­ries of Demo­cratic wit­nesses, in­clud­ing Obama’s for­mer na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser, Su­san Rice, and for­mer UN Am­bas­sador Sa­man­tha Power - both of whom Repub­li­cans have said may be linked to the un­mask­ing. Rice met with staff on the Se­nate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee earlier this month, and Power met with the panel Fri­day.

“Am­bas­sador Power strongly sup­ports any bi­par­ti­san ef­fort to ad­dress the se­ri­ous threat to our na­tional se­cu­rity posed by Rus­sia’s in­ter­fer­ence in our elec­toral process, and is ea­ger to en­gage with the Se­nate and House com­mit­tees on the time­line they have re­quested,” Power’s lawyer, David Press­man, said in a state­ment. — AP

BAL­TI­MORE: In this June 5, 2017 file photo, for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton speaks. —AP

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