More revelations of bias in the FBI is in the news.
Documents disclose former FBI director James Comey made several revisions while drafting a statement about Hillary Clinton’s email system investigation to downplay the FBI’s findings prior to going public.
Fox News reports:
In an early draft, Comey said it was “reasonably likely” that “hostile actors” gained access to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email account. That was changed later to say the scenario was merely “possible.”
Another edit showed language was changed to describe the actions of Clinton and her colleagues as “extremely careless” as opposed to “grossly negligent.” This is a key legal distinction.
Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) expressed his concerns in a letter to the FBI.
Johnson, writing about his concerns in a letter Thursday to FBI Director Christopher Wray, said the original “could be read as a finding of criminality in Secretary Clinton’s handling of classified material.”
He added, “The edited statement deleted the reference to gross negligence – a legal threshold for mishandling classified material – and instead replaced it with an exculpatory sentence.”
The edits also showed that references to specific potential violations of statutes on “gross negligence” regarding classified information and “misdemeanor handling” were removed.
Johnson references the change in the tone of Comey’s statement and numerous edits of his findings impacted public opinion.
“While the precise dates of the edits and identities of the editors are not apparent from the documents, the edits appear to change the tone and substance of Director Comey’s statement in at least three respects,” Johnson wrote Thursday.
That includes, Johnson said, “repeated edits to reduce Secretary Clinton’s culpability in mishandling classified information.”
Johnson continued, “In summary, the edits to Director Comey’s public statement, made months prior to the conclusion of the FBI’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s conduct, had a significant impact on the FBI’s public evaluation of the implications of her actions.”