From Washington Examiner
FBI Director James Comey is set to appear before the House Oversight Committee Thursday amid a fierce backlash over his decision earlier this week to recommend that the Justice Department decline to pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her “extremely careless” handling of classified information.
The decision rankled Republicans and prompted four congressional leaders to pursue hearings or probes that could shed additional light on the FBI’s decision.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the Oversight Committee, said he found Comey’s announcement “surprising and confusing” given the gap between the case against Clinton he laid out and the conclusion he drew from it.
The move to end the Clinton email probe without charging anyone involved with a crime has raised many questions among skeptical observers. Here are seven that Comey could face at the oversight hearing Thursday.
1. What about the Clinton Foundation?
The FBI’s investigation had reportedly expanded to include the activities of the Clinton Foundation months before Comey concluded its work.
Anonymously-sourced reports had indicated FBI investigators were looking into allegations of “public corruption” stemming from the intersection of the foundation and the State Department under Clinton.
Matthew Whitaker, president of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, said the public corruption probe is likely still underway.
“I am presuming that, based on reports, that that investigation continues and is still outstanding,” Whitaker said, acknowledging that it would be difficult to know for certain.
The Clinton Foundation has come under fire for accepting large foreign donations while Clinton served as secretary of state, creating potential conflicts of interest when foundation donors seemingly received preferential treatment from Clinton’s State Department.
David Bossie, president of Citizens United, said that Comey’s announcement Tuesday has no bearing on the question of the Clinton Foundation investigation.
“I think that the pressure on the FBI to make a statement on the email case was gaining on the FBI, that they needed to make a decision,” Bossie said.
“I think that they got started later on the public corruption case, and so I wouldn’t necessarily expect an announcement on that anytime soon,” he added.
2. Why did Bryan Pagliano need an immunity agreement if no laws were broken?
Clinton’s information technology specialist struck an immunity deal with the Justice Department in exchange for his testimony about how the server system was set up.
Pagliano invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and refused to answer questions about the email controversy when called before the House Select Committee on Benghazi last year and when pulled into a deposition in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
His lawyers cited reasonable fear of self-incrimination when attempting to avoid the deposition last month.
3. What reason did witnesses give for setting up the servers in the first place?
Clinton has repeatedly argued since March of last year that she set up her private email system for “convenience,” in order to consolidate her work and personal accounts on one mobile device.
That reasoning has been debunked consistently by reports that Clinton carried multiple devices and was impeached entirely by Comey when he announced that, not only did Clinton carry several different devices, but she hosted her emails on multiple servers.
Critics have contended that Clinton set up the network to shield her communications from open-records requests in anticipation of her presidential campaign.
Whatever the true motivation for setting up the private servers, evidence does not support Clinton’s claim that it was a matter of convenience.
Read Full Story At Washington Examiner