- Florida Republican Matt Gaetz and former GOP congressman Jason Chaffetz are calling for criminal investigations into the Clintons to be reopened
- Three of the probes were launched in early 2016 by FBI field offices in Arkansas, New York, and DC into ‘possible criminal activity’ by the Clinton Foundation
- An investigation was also opened in late 2014 into claims that foreign governments were trying to make illegal donations to buy influence with Hillary
- Read the Durham report in FULL – and the investigation timeline that led him to conclude the FBI should NEVER have investigated Trump-Russia collusion
The FBI had at least four criminal investigations into Hillary and Bill Clinton that were ultimately shut down months before the presidential election in 2016, a new Justice Department report reveals – and Republicans want to reopen those probes.
A long-awaited report by Special Counsel John Durham released on Monday shows the FBI began investigating claims in late 2014 from a ‘well-placed’ confidential source that two foreign governments were trying to make illegal donations to buy influence with Hillary during her presidential campaign.
Investigators were even offered documents of one alleged $2,700 illegal contribution that led to a ‘substantial’ further donation.
The bombshell report also reveals three different FBI field offices, in Washington, D.C., Little Rock, Arkansas, and New York, launched investigations into the Clinton Foundation in early 2016 for ‘possible criminal activity.’
One of the investigations was partly based on statements made in journalist Peter Schweizer’s 2015 book, Clinton Cash, claiming the Clintons’ charity was taking millions in donations from foreign governments trying to change US foreign policy while Hillary was Secretary of State.
But despite making progress, all four criminal investigations were shut down by senior officials, Durham found.
The new revelations are prompting calls from current and former Republicans for a renewed investigation into the alleged criminal activity involving the Clintons.
One is Florida Republican representative Matt Gaetz, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee’s ‘Weaponization of the Federal Government’ subcommittee which has been probing claims of political bias in the FBI.
‘The Clintons had a team of people at the FBI running interference for them to avoid criminal culpability,’ Gaetz claimed in a statement to DailyMail.com.
‘These matters absolutely warrant additional exposure and review.’
Former Republican congressman and ex House Oversight Committee chair Jason Chaffetz expressed similar sentiments saying the FBI ‘didn’t complete the job’ and probes into the Clintons should be reopened.
‘They had the scent, they were on the trail, and they were shut down by the higher ups who had an obvious political desire to see Donald Trump lose and Hillary Clinton win,’ he said.
‘It’s disgusting really. Absolutely these investigations should be revisited,’ he added.
‘There’s no reason why Congress can’t have a series of hearings with the field agents who were pursuing the Clinton Foundation, and public interviews with them as well.’
Bombshell new information about the FBI’s Clinton probes was disclosed in the special counsel’s 316-page report delivered to Attorney General Merrick Garland on May 12.
The report compared the FBI and Justice Department’s voracious investigation of Trump’s connections with Russia, to its allegedly lackluster approach to its Clinton probes ‘tippy-toeing’ around the former Secretary of State.
Durham reviewed a January 2016 report on the Clinton Foundation by the Little Rock Field Office which found possible evidence that ‘large monetary contributions were made to a non-profit, under both direct and indirect control of [a] federal public official, in exchange for favorable government action and/or influence.’
Durham wrote that the New York and Little Rock Field Offices had ‘source reporting that identified foreign governments that had made, or offered to make, contributions to the Foundation in exchange for favorable or preferential treatment from Clinton.’
And an agent in the Washington Field Office also opened a preliminary probe into the Clintons ‘because the Case Agent wanted to determine if he could develop additional information to corroborate the allegations in a recently-published book, Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer’.
Among the Clintons’ murky foreign entanglements scrutinized in Schweizer’s book was a 2010 deal that gave the Russian government control over huge swathes of US uranium production including 38,000 acres in four Western states.
A Russian state-controlled company built up a 51% controlling stake in previously Canadian firm Uranium One between 2009 and 2013, in a deal approved by a powerful US government committee on which Hillary sat as Secretary of State.
Over the same period, Uranium One’s chairman Ian Telfer used his family foundation to make $2.35million in donations to the Clinton Foundation, according to Canadian tax records reported by the New York Times in 2015.
The gifts were not disclosed despite an agreement Hillary signed before joining the Obama administration to identify all donors.
In June 2010, the same month Russian energy firm Rosatom struck its deal to buy 51% of Uranium One, Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 to speak at an event in Moscow, the Times reported, after an investigation based on a preview copy of Schweizer’s book.
The deal was one of several cases highlighted in Schweizer’s book involving rich Clinton Foundation mega-donors and foreign governments with interests in Hillary’s decisions as Secretary of State.
A Wall Street Journal report from February 2015 identified the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Australia, Germany, and a Canadian government agency promoting the Keystone XL pipeline as donors to the foundation’s $250million endowment campaign – though noted that Hillary stopped raising money from foreign governments after she became secretary.
At the time the Clintons issued strong denials of any impropriety.
‘[No one] has ever produced a shred of evidence supporting the theory that Hillary Clinton ever took action as secretary of state to support the interests of donors to the Clinton Foundation,’ their spokesman Brian Fallon told the Times in April 2015.
‘To suggest the State Department, under then-Secretary Clinton, exerted undue influence in the U.S. government’s review of the sale of Uranium One is utterly baseless.’
And on Thursday, a spokesperson for the Clinton Foundation pushed back against the claims of alleged wrongdoing requiring FBI investigation.
The spokesman said the Durham report ’emphasized what’s been clear for many years – there’s never been any wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation’, adding that Durham referred to Schweizer’s book as ‘unvetted hearsay’ in his report.
‘Secretary Clinton was not involved in the State Department’s review of the Uranium One deal,’ the spokesman said.
‘The largest Clinton Foundation donor cited in these claims sold his stake in Uranium One several years before the deal.
‘None of the Clintons have ever taken any money from the Clinton Foundation — in fact, the Clintons themselves are major donors to the Clinton Foundation.’
The spokesman said Schweizer’s claims were ‘baseless’ and pointed to previous investigations by the Trump administration’s Justice Department and House Republicans in 2018 which ‘concluded with no evidence of wrongdoing.’
The first was a 2018 probe by the House Oversight Committee into allegations from financial analysts who claimed to have found evidence of financial crimes at the Clinton Foundation.
The second was a Justice Department inquiry launched in 2017, which was reported by the Washington Post to be winding down in 2020.
The Justice probe looked into allegations of alleged corruption at the Clinton Foundation and reportedly included a review of the FBI Little Rock Field Office’s previous investigations into the charity, but did not result in any charges being filed.
The spokesman pointed to the charitable work done by the Clinton Foundation, including ‘helping millions access lifesaving HIV/AIDS treatment’ and bringing ‘healthy food and exercise options to tens of millions of American kids’, as well as extensive philanthropy abroad.
The Durham Report revealed that the FBI was also investigating evidence of two foreign governments attempting to influence Clinton with allegedly illegal campaign donations during the 2016 presidential run.
Agents had a ‘well-placed’ confidential source who told them in late 2014 that a particular foreign government, unidentified in Durham’s report, was planning to make illegal donations to Clinton’s campaign to influence her.
Durham wrote that the FBI gave a defensive briefing about it to Clinton and Trump.
The FBI then followed the informant into the midst of a second foreign influence attempt in 2015 – which the informant claimed Clinton’s campaign was aware of and even complicit in.
FBI reports reviewed by Durham said that in November 2015 their informant was asked to introduce to Hillary a person with ‘foreign intelligence and criminal connections’, on behalf of a second foreign government.
Durham wrote that the shady intelligence operative ‘wanted to propose ‘something’ that [the FBI informant] understood to be campaign contributions on behalf of Foreign Government-3 in exchange for the protection of Foreign Government-3’s interests should Clinton become President.’
The shady foreign operative was initially invited to a Clinton fundraising event in late November 2015, but was later disinvited ‘because of the perceived negative attention a foreign national might attract’, Durham’s report said.
Though Durham did not identify the campaign event, regional newspaper The Tennessean reported a private Hillary fundraiser that month at the Nashville home of businessman Bill Freeman, which raised more than $500,000 for her presidential bid.
The FBI informant got permission from their Bureau handler to attend the fundraiser, but did not go, the Durham report said.
However the informant did attend another Clinton fundraiser in January 2016, where they made an alleged illegal donation on behalf of the foreign government, allegedly with the knowledge of Clinton’s campaign.
‘Without the knowledge or prior approval of the handling agent, CHS-A [the FBI informant] had made a $2700 campaign contribution (the maximum amount at the time for an individual contribution) prior to the event, which CHS-A indicated he/she ‘made on [his/her] [credit] card’ on behalf of Insider-1 [the foreign operative],’ the report said.
‘If true, the campaign contribution on behalf of a foreign national would violate Title 52 USC Section 30121 (‘Contributions and donations by foreign nationals’).’
The informant told the FBI Hillary’s campaign ‘were okay with it’ and ‘were fully aware from the start’.
The FBI also had evidence that the $2,700 donation ‘allegedly was a precursor to the contribution of a significant sum of money by Insider-1 on behalf of Foreign Government-3’.
But Durham found the Bureau failed to pursue the alleged illegal donation scheme or document it properly, instead telling their informant to cut contact with the Clinton campaign.
Agents did not give a defensive briefing to Clinton or Trump regarding this second foreign government.
Durham wrote that one FBI field office tried to get wiretapping warrants based on some of the informant’s information as early as 2014, but the Bureau HQ dragged their feet.
An unnamed FBI special agent in charge working on the probe told Durham ‘everyone was super more careful’ and ‘scared with the big name involved’ – referring to Clinton.
‘They were pretty ‘tippy-toeing’ around [Clinton] because there was a chance she would be the next President,’ the agent said.
Although neither foreign government whose operatives allegedly approached the Clinton campaign were identified in the report, Schweizer told DailyMail.com that the United Arab Emirates was a potential candidate.
In 2022, convicted pedophile and American adviser to the Middle Eastern nation George Nader pleaded guilty to his role in helping funnel millions of dollars in illegal campaign contributions from the UAE to 2016 US presidential campaigns.
Prosecutors said $3.5million from the UAE government was given to Democratic political committees working to elect Clinton, via Nader.
Nader said he also met Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. several times in 2016, and was a frequent visitor to the White House during Trump’s first year in office.
The Durham Report revealed that the three FBI field offices began coordinating their Clinton Foundation investigations and in February 2016 met with top FBI and Justice Department officials.
But Public Integrity Section Chief Ray Hulser, one senior DoJ official at the February 1 meeting, declined to take up the Clinton case.
According to Durham’s report, Hulser said the FBI briefing was ‘poorly presented’ and that there was ‘insufficient predication for at least one of the investigations due to its reliance on allegations contained in a book.’
An acting section chief from the FBI’s Office of General Counsel who was also present at the meeting, kept anonymous by Durham, said that the Justice Department’s reaction was ‘hostile’.
The report detailed a second meeting three weeks later on February 22, chaired by then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who ‘initially directed the field offices to close their cases’.
McCabe himself had recent ties to the Clintons.
His wife Jill was recruited by Clinton aide and ally, Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, to run for state senate in March 2015, while McCabe was director of the FBI DC field office.
Common Good VA PAC, which featured Hillary as a speaker at its fundraiser that year, gave $450,000 to Jill’s campaign in October 2015.
McCabe was promoted to number 3 at the Bureau as associate deputy director in July 2015, the same month the FBI began investigating Hillary’s use of a private email server for government business.
The FBI has said that McCabe did not have any ‘oversight’ over the email case as associate deputy director. He was promoted to deputy director in February 2016, when he began his Clinton probe oversight.
Then-Washington Field Office assistant director-in-charge Paul Abbate told Durham that McCabe was ‘negative’, ‘annoyed’ and ‘angry’ about the FBI’s Clinton probes at the February 2016 meeting, asking ‘why are we even doing this?’ and telling attendees that the DoJ ‘say there’s nothing here’.
The New York office was also told to ‘cease and desist’ their Clinton investigation by executive assistant director Randy Coleman, delivering the message on behalf of then-FBI director James Comey, the report said.
Durham wrote that Coleman cited ‘some undisclosed counterintelligence concern’ as the reason for shutting down the probe, but the special prosecutor said he ‘was not able to determine what the counterintelligence issue raised by Comey was.’
Despite the demands from bosses to close the investigation, the New York office continued to dig, and on August 1, 2016 agents were given permission to seek subpoenas from the US Attorneys’ offices in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, Durham’s report said.
But both prosecutors’ offices declined to issue the subpoenas to the Clintons, effectively hamstringing the agents’ work.
McCabe’s lawyer Michael Bromwich said references to the ex-FBI deputy director’s involvement ‘couldn’t be more wrong’ and that ‘the only things new in Mr. Durham’s report are factual errors.’
Durham’s report said that McCabe initially told his agents to shut down their investigation, but then agreed to further review. Bromwich said the probe was not closed until ‘years later’.
‘Mr. McCabe was recused from any role overseeing the still-open cases in the fall of 2016,’ the lawyer wrote in an email.
‘The cases were then reviewed and overseen by David Bowditch [another FBI deputy director] until their closure years later. Our understanding is that those investigations were closed as unworthy of being further pursued.’
Schweizer told DailyMail.com he was surprised to learn the FBI had launched three criminal probes prompted by his book.
‘I was a little surprised that there was as much activity as there was. I had no idea that much paddling was going on underneath the surface of the water,’ he said.
‘I got a call from somebody from the New York FBI office after the book came out,’ he added.
‘There was a New York Times piece on Uranium One. It was kind of confirming what we had in the book. That’s what I think triggered the interest.
‘With the Clinton Foundation, you have the transfer of large sums of money, you had policy positions that were affected, and you had certifiable evidence.
‘I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t say what was illegal. But there was definitely a there there, with all the speeches, donations and policy effects, and nobody’s ever really disputed that.’