The FBI's immunity screw up blocked the investigation into the Clinton's BleachBit obstruction of justice
Immunity agreements offered to two of Hillary Clinton's top aides prevented the FBI from looking into the circumstances surrounding the use of BleachBit, a digital deletion tool, to destroy the former secretary of state's emails.This deal still looks inexplicable. What was the proffer of evidence offered to the FBI to secure the immunity? It appears they got nothing of value for the immunity agreement and they did not need it in the first place to get access to the computers.
In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch Wednesday, four Republican committee chairmen demanded to know why Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson, two witnesses who also served as Clinton's personal attorneys, were granted such expansive protections despite the FBI's awareness that they had participated in potentially illegal activities.
For example, the FBI agreed to limit its search to emails written after June 1, 2014, but before Feb. 1, 2015. By doing so, investigators were barred from looking at emails authored around the time Mills and David Kendall, Clinton's lead attorney, held a pair of conference calls with technology contractor Paul Combetta that immediately preceded his use of BleachBit to erase thousands of Clinton's emails.
The GOP lawmakers noted that, before the FBI signed off on the immunity deals, "it already knew of the conference calls between Secretary Clinton's attorneys and Mr. Combetta, his use of BleachBit and the resulting deletions, further casting doubt on why the FBI would enter into such a limited evidentiary scope of review with respect to the laptops."
FBI Director James Comey defended his decision to allow the immunity deals by arguing the protections extended only to the laptops Mills and Samuelson used to sort Clinton's emails before turning 30,000 over to the State Department.
Lawmakers expressed outrage last week following the discovery that the deals requested by Mills and Samuelson included a requirement to destroy their laptops after agents performed narrow searches on them.