Kimberley Strassel said the FBI is stonewalling Congress' questions about how the bureau handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
On "The Daily Briefing" on Friday, Strassel, a member of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, pointed to the revelation that then-FBI Director James Comey’s draft statement on the Clinton email investigation was heavily edited before his July 2016 public announcement.
Line-by-line edits show "grossly negligent" being downgraded to "extremely careless." Similarly, the phrasing that it is “reasonably likely” hostile actors had gained access to then-Secretary of State Clinton’s private email account was downgraded to merely "possible."
Strassel said the FBI needs to answer questions about how and why these edits were made, and the agency has thus far appeared unwilling to do so.
She noted that Peter Strzok, the former FBI counterintelligence agent who was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team after his anti-Trump texts were discovered, is supposedly behind some of the Clinton edits.
"Congress has been demanding to interview him for months now; the FBI has withheld him from having to give that interview," Strassel said. "They need information, and the only way you're going to know the context for which these changes were made [is] to get a hold of the people who actually made them. And the FBI has just refused to give the goods on this."
She said the FBI and the Justice Department need to comply with congressional investigations into what happened during the 2016 election. "There's a general stonewall going on here that no one should be happy with," Strassel said.
She acknowledged that she wouldn't want the FBI to release classified information that would undermine national security. "But that's not what we're talking about here," she said. "We're talking about their internal actions, and the public has a right to know about how these investigations were and are being handled."
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