WASHINGTON- When President Trump appoints a new FBI Director it could not only impact the direction of the Russia investigation but it could also trigger the reopening of Hillary Clinton’s email investigation.
But will the new FBI director go after Clinton?
“It is entirely appropriate for a new director to reconsider whether the investigation was complete and the evidence was evaluated fully and fairly,” said former federal prosecutor Jacob Frenkel.
Recently fired FBI Director James Comey decided to reopen the Clinton email investigation 11 days before the 2016 presidential election after having discovered Clinton-related emails in an unrelated probe. Comey then proceeded to shutdown that investigation just two days before the election.
The FBI’s decision not to charge Clinton following back-to-back probes raised questions among some critics as to whether the Bureau prioritizes holding accountable high-ranking government officials who mishandle sensitive information.
More recently, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates suggested to a Senate Judiciary subcommittee that the FBI did not intend to investigate the source of recent media leaks that led to the resignation of White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
The Washington Post in February reported that Flynn had diplomatically engaged Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak prior to President Donald Trump taking office and that Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence about that conversation.
The reports suggested that Flynn may have given Kislyak the impression that the incoming Administration might be willing to consider lifting sanctions that were imposed on Moscow following Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from neighboring Ukraine.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation following media reports that he had twice met with Kislyak while a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Nick Akerman, a former assistant U.S. Attorney who was also a member of the Watergate special prosecution team, said he does not believe Comey’s successor will reopen the Clinton email investigation.
“I would say there is a zero chance of this happening for the same reason no case was brought in the first instance,” Akerman told TMN.
“There was not a single email found on the Clinton server that was marked as Classified, i.e. “confidential,” “secret” or “top secret.” There was also no evidence in any of the emails that showed any intent to misuse classified information,” he said.
Sean M. Bigley, an attorney specializing in national security cases, said the FBI should reopen the Clinton email investigation but cautioned that doing so could result in unintended consequences.
“However, there are also public policy implications involved in reopening the Clinton case now – namely, the potential appearance of retribution,” Bigley said.