Rep. Darrell Issa knows his stuff!
FBI Director James Comey was hammered by Issa at a House Oversight Committee hearing Wednesday on why immunity was granted to Hillary Clinton’s aides in a federal investigation.
The California Republican confronted Comey with the report that Clinton’s IT tech Paul Combetta, who was granted immunity to speak to the FBI, has continued to delete emails even though congress is still investigating. Combetta allegedly deleted emails using Bleach Bit software after soliciting advice on Reddit for how to remove the messages.
“Is he destroying evidence relevant to congressional inquiries and I’ll answer it for you: yes he is,” Issa said. “And what are you going to do about it?”
This was a mic-dropping moment. Case closed, end of discussion.
“That’s not something I can comment on,” was Comey’s short reply.
But Issa was far from done.
He then schooled Comey on standard procedures for granting immunity. Apparently the director of the FBI, which handed out the immunity grants “like candy,” was not aware of the requirement.
“For the record,” he said, “the Department of Justice does not grant immunity without checking with federal law enforcement to see whether it will impact any ongoing investigation.”
Issa then grilled Comey on why Cheryl Mills, Heather Samuelson, State Department staffers and other Clinton aides were granted immunity without the knowledge of Congress.
“When you granted immunity to these five individuals, you took them out of the reach of prosecution for crimes committed related to destruction of documents or withholding or other crimes pursuant to congressional subpoenas,” Issa said.
Issa scoffed at Comey’s reply that he didn’t think “anybody was given transactional immunity,” basically a blanket coverage that totally protects a witness.
“Oh really?” Issa said. “Now, we are not allowed to make your immunities public, but I’m going to take the privilege of making one part of it public. I read them. You gave immunity from ‘destruction’ to both of those attorneys [Mills and Samuelson].”
Watch the exchange in the video clip below.