As if we needed any more evidence that the FBI was politicized under James Comey, we get this in a Friday evening document dump: The top attorney for the FBI and an attorney representing Hillary Clinton loyalists worked together to keep politically-damaging computer contents from being subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.
Beth Wilkinson, wife of former NBC host and current CNN commentator David Gregory, represented Clinton aides Cheryl Mills, Heather Samuelson, and Jake Sullivan during the FBI’s whitewash investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s secret email server, and Ms. Wilkinson apparently convinced an all-too-cooperative FBI to protect the contents of Ms. Mills’s and Ms. Samuelson’s laptop computers from public scrutiny.
“The Government explicitly agreed that the FBI would not assert custody and control of the devices in the face of Freedom of Information Act requests,” Ms. Wilkinson wrote in an August 11, 2016 email from Ms. Wilkinson to James A. Baker, who was then the general counsel of the FBI. Here’s an excerpt from the agreement that Ms. Wilkinson cut-and-pasted into her email.
The Device is being provided to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) solely for the purposes of the Department of Justice Investigation, and for the Department’s use in connection with the investigation. In voluntarily providing the Device, Cheryl Mills does not relinquish ownership or control over the Device, except for the FBI’s limited investigative use as specified by this agreement. The FBI does not assert custody and control over the Device or its contents for any other purposes, including any requests made pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552.
Let me translate that excerpt into plain English: Even though the FBI clearly had custody and control of the laptops, it would deny that it had custody and control whenever somebody (like me) submitted a FOIA request for the contents of those laptops. And I must rely on Ms. Wilkinson’s representation of the agreement because, even though I asked for copies of all agreements between Ms. Wilkinson and the FBI / DOJ more than ten months ago, the government still has not produced the actual agreements. … Read more