- Thomson Reuters
The Department of Justice’s internal watchdog announced Thursday it will look into whether the FBI violated any rules or procedures in its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
Following requests from top-ranking members of Congressional oversight committees, The Office of Inspector General said the probe would focus on FBI Director James Comey’s public announcement of the department’s decision not to bring charges against Clinton for her use of a private server while serving as secretary of state.
It will also examine the subsequent letter to Congress – sent just several days before the general election – announcing the FBI’s continued investigation into the server.
The office also announced it would examine whether officials inside the department leaked details about the investigation to the Clinton campaign.
A department inside DOJ that nonetheless acts independently, the OIG often investigates high-profile cases to determine whether the department acted appropriately, though the findings do not normally affect the outcome of the original matter.
Clinton’s former press secretary Brian Fallon – whom Republicans previously accused of possessing leaked DOJ information about the investigation – called OIG’s investigation “appropriate and very necessary, but not surprising.”
“We need the FBI to be independent, to not have a reputation for behaving in a partisan manner, but I think that all of that was really called in the question in the way that the FBI handled this matter in the closing weeks of the campaign,” Fallon said.