Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Rep. Jason Chaffetz to forget about investigating Hillary Clinton.
Chaffetz is the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Chaffetz was quoted as saying a probe into government record keeping practices would not be “specifically trying to target the secretary, but when she creates her own private email system, she’s ensnarled herself,” according to Politico.
On Monday, Ryan and McCarthy told the Utah Republican he is not allowed to investigate the former secretary of state. They said the FBI should lead any probe into Clinton wrong-doing.
“The Oversight Committee has jurisdiction on the Federal Records Act, and we intend to pursue that,” Chaffetz said previously. “We also have jurisdiction on FOIA [the Freedom of Information Act], so if you’re not providing emails, it begs the question of your compliance under FOIA. So, I’m not specifically trying to target the secretary, but when she creates her own private email system, she’s ensnarled herself.”
— POLITICO (@politico) July 7, 2016
Chaffetz has criticized the double standard used in the case.
“I worry that there are two standards: that if your name is Clinton or you’re part of the rich and powerful, you live under a different set of rules than everybody else,” he told MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “Because it does appear based on the fact pattern laid out by the director that if you had done those things, you’d probably be in handcuffs, you’d probably be going to jail and probably should, based on the statute. So, we want to ask him about that and now that the Department of Justice said they’re not going to prosecute, no reason they can’t provide us all the information.”
Other Republicans are also backing down. The chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, has decided to not investigate Clinton after the House Republican leadership “expressed unease” and deferred to the FBI.
“We expect the FBI to do its job and fully investigate cyber vulnerabilities that may have resulted from former Secretary Clinton’s decision to deviate from established cybersecurity standards and requirements,” said an aide on Lamar’s panel.
On Tuesday, the FBI gave Clinton a free pass.
“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” said James Comey, the director of the FBI.
The FBI recommended against prosecution despite the fact Clinton violated Section 793(f) of the federal penal code. “In essence, in order to give Mrs. Clinton a pass, the FBI rewrote the statute, inserting an intent element that Congress did not require,” writes Andrew C. McCarthy, a former colleague of Comey.
Outraged Americans are expressing their anger over the decision to not prosecute Clinton. On Friday, they will gather outside the Riverfront Sports Arena in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where Clinton is scheduled to give a speech.
“It begins this Friday! Patriots, you are invited to join us in Scranton, PA as we peacefully protest the presumptive Democratic nominee…” the NeverHillary2016 Facebook page declares. “So come wearing your anti-Hillary apparel (including those cool Hillary for Prison tee shirts) and bring signs stating your desire that she doesn’t win the 2016 Presidential Election.”
“We need to show up in numbers that let people know we don’t support this woman for President. She will be speaking with VP Joe Biden at 12 Noon, so get there early and join us in Scranton.”