The FBI decided to troll Bill and Hillary Clinton on Tuesday by tweeting out a link to records of its 2001 investigation into the former president’s controversial decision to pardon fugitive Marc Rich, a Democratic fundraiser who had fled the country to avoid charges of tax evasion and violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.
William J. Clinton Foundation: This initial release consists of material from the FBI's files related to the Will… https://t.co/Y4nz3aRSmG
— FBI Records Vault (@FBIRecordsVault) November 1, 2016
Clinton’s pardoning of Marc Rich was widely criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike. Former President Jimmy Carter called it “disgraceful.” Rich and his wife, Denise, were prominent Democratic donors who helped fund Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign in 2000, and donated more than $400,000 to the Clinton Library foundation.
No illegal activity was uncovered in the federal investigation, which was closed in 2005, but the many of the individuals involved rose to prominent positions in government. Current FBI director James Comey played a lead role in the investigation into the pardon, which had been recommend and arranged by a deputy attorney general named Eric Holder, who would go on to serve as U.S. Attorney General in the Obama administration.
Comey called Holder’s role in the pardon a “huge misjudgment,” but said he did not think it should disqualifying him from serving as attorney general.
The FBI tweet is another bizarre development in what has become a war of leaks between the Department of Justice and the FBI regarding Comey’s announcement last week that new evidence had been uncovered related to its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
Many on Twitter noted the unusual timing.
Um. This was closed over ten years ago and FBI is posting today. https://t.co/5dFIdaWj6M
— Michael Shure (@michaelshure) November 1, 2016
Doesn't appear to contain anything significant. But if timing here wasn't legally compelled then this is a very, very bad look for the FBI. https://t.co/RGz0s8WmQA
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) November 1, 2016
— Melissa Ryan (@MelissaRyan) November 1, 2016
NBC News is reporting the FBI tweeted a link to files in response to FOIA request.
NBC News: The release of WJC FBI files was sent by the FOIA office under normal guidelines. A proper requested was made -Pete Williams rpts.
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) November 1, 2016
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