FBI Concerned About Preventing Damage from Leakers
Contact: Jill Farrell, Judicial Watch, 202-646-5172
WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2017 /Standard Newswire/ -- Judicial Watch today released 29 pages of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) documents related to the June 27, 2016, tarmac meeting between former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton. The documents show that FBI officials were more concerned about leaks than the actual meeting itself. The new documents also show that then-FBI Director Comey seemed to learn of the meeting from news reports.
The new documents were obtained by Judicial Watch in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:16-cv-02046)) filed after the Justice Department failed to comply with a July 7, 2016, FOIA request seeking:
- All FD-302 forms prepared pursuant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private e-mail server during her tenure.
- All records of communications between any agent, employee, or representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding, concerning, or related to the aforementioned investigation. This request includes, but is not limited to, any related communications with any official, employee, or representative of the Department of Justice, the Executive Office of the President, the Democratic National Committee, and/or the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.
- All records related to the meeting between Attorney General Lynch and former President Bill Clinton on June 27, 2016.
The new FBI documents show FBI officials were concerned about a leak that Bill Clinton delayed his aircraft taking off in order to "maneuver" a meeting with the attorney general. The resulting story in the Observer is seemingly confirmed and causes a flurry of emails about the source of the article. FBI official(s) write "we need to find that guy" and that the Phoenix FBI office was contacted "in an attempt to stem any further damage." Another FBI official, working on AG Lynch's security detail, suggests instituting non-disclosure agreements. The names of the emails authors are redacted. There are no documents showing concern about the meeting itself.
The FBI originally informed Judicial Watch they could not locate any records related to the tarmac meeting. However, in a related FOIA lawsuit, the Justice Department located emails in which Justice Department officials communicated with the FBI and wrote that they had communicated with the FBI. As a result, by letter dated August 10, 2017, from the FBI stated, "Upon further review, we subsequently determined potentially responsive documents may exist. As a result, your [FOIA] request has been reopened..."
On June 27, 2016, Attorney General Loretta Lynch met with former President Bill Clinton on board a parked plane at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona. The meeting occurred during the then-ongoing investigation of Mrs. Clinton's email server, and only a few days before she was interviewed the Justice Department and FBI. (Judicial Watch filed a request on June 30 that the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General investigate that meeting.)