Donald Trump firing Comey has Republicans calling for official investigation – into Clinton's emails

The FBI has said some agents were angry by the decision not to prosecute Ms Clinton

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Friday 12 May 2017 19:59 BST
Judicial Watch president: Hillary email server case could be re-opened

Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey has left many conservatives hoping the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server can be reopened.

Lots of Republicans, and others on the right, were furious when Mr Comey announced last summer, that after probing her actions, he had decided against bringing criminal charges. The decision infuriated Donald Trump and his supporters, who started to to chant “lock her up” at his election rallies.

During one of the three presidential debates, Mr Trump even vowed to investigate her behaviour if he was elected. “If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation because there has never been so many lies, so much deception,” he said.

Now, in the aftermath of the firing of Mr Comey, with Democrats and opponents of Mr Trump infuriated over what they consider a blatant attempt to shut down the investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged links to Russia’s effort to influence the election, conservatives see an opening to restart the Clinton probe.

Tom Fitton, president of the conservative legal activist group Judicial Watch, said there remained many unanswered questions about both Ms Clinton’s behaviour and the way Mr Comey led the investigation.

“I think it needs to be reevaluated it’s not just because theres a new FBI Director, but under new leadership at the Justice Department,” he told Fox News.

“Comey misled the investigation by suggesting they needed to find intent, when common sense tells you they mishandled it, and they should have known that what they were doing was wrong, which was enough for a prosecution. It’s gross negligence under the law.”

Donald Trump says James Comey told him multiple times he was not under investigation

He added: “They need to reevaluate what’s happening with the mishandling of classified material, and her taking records illicitly, destroying them, all sorts of things like that. We can’t trust that last investigation to have got to the bottom of that.”

In the aftermath of the decision not to prosecute Ms Clinton, there were widespread reports that a number of FBI agents were angry with Ms Comey. There were even accusations he had taken the decision because he, like many other elements of the Washington establishment, had expected her to in the election, and wanted to earn her favour.

This week, the new acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe acknowledged for the first time in public testimony that some agents were indeed angry with that decision.

“I think morale’s always been good, but there were folks within our agency that were frustrated with the outcome of the Hillary Clinton case and some of those folks were very vocal about those concerns,” Mr McCabe said.

William Jacobson, a conservative blogger and a professor at Cornell Law School, wrote: “James Comey now is fired. Loretta Lynch no longer is Attorney General. This seems to open up the possibility of a renewed investigation and potential prosecution.”

Mr Jacobson told The Independent he believed it was unlikely that Mr Trump would ultimately decide to prosecute Ms Clinton, given he had even said as much after his electoral win. Yet he said, the Justice Department might revaluate the evidence, given that it was Mr Comey, rather than Ms Lynch, the then Attorney General, who had decided not to proceed with a prosecution. "The DoJ never made its own finding," he said.

When he announced last summer he was not going to proceed with a prosecution of Ms Clinton, Mr Comey said: “Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

He added: “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.

“I know there will be intense public debate in the wake of this recommendation, as there was throughout this investigation.”

A spokesman for Ms Clinton did not immediately respond to inquiries.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in