August 29, 2017
Hillary Clinton’s case isn’t interesting enough to the public to justify releasing the FBI’s files on her, the bureau said this week in rejecting an open-records request by a lawyer seeking to have the former secretary of state punished for perjury.
Ty Clevenger, the lawyer, has been trying to get Mrs. Clinton and her personal lawyers disbarred for their handling of her official emails during her time as secretary of state. He’s met with resistance among lawyers, and now his request for information from the FBI’s files has been shot down.
“You have not sufficiently demonstrated that the public’s interest in disclosure outweighs personal privacy interests of the subject,” FBI records management section chief David M. Hardy told Mr. Clevenger in a letter Monday.
“It is incumbent upon the requester to provide documentation regarding the public’s interest in the operations and activities of the government before records can be processed pursuant to the FOIA,” Mr. Hardy wrote.
Mrs. Clinton, is the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, former chief diplomat, former U.S. senator, and former first lady of both the U.S. and Arkansas. Her use of a secret email account to conduct government business while leading the State Department was front-page news for much of 2015 and 2016, and was so striking that the then-FBI director broke with procedure and made both a public statement and appearances before Congress to talk about the bureau’s probe.
In the end, the FBI didn’t recommend charges against Mrs. Clinton, concluding that while she risked national security, she was too technologically inept to know the dangers she was running, so no case could be made against her.
Federal prosecutors said Monday that they aren’t convinced claims U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez cavorted with underage hookers – widely seen as discredited – are false.
Lawyers for the New Jersey Democrat last week asked a federal judge to dismiss charges that the senator took bribes from a Florida eye doctor, Salomon Melgen, and in exchange used his power to do business and personal favors for him.
The defense said the case is bogus because it sprang from “easily disprovable” claims that Menendez slept with underage prostitutes while hosted by Melgen at a Dominican Republic villa.
Three women who made the prostitution allegations later recanted and said they were paid to level the charges. Neither Melgen nor Menendez was charged with soliciting underage prostitutes.
But in a motion Monday asking the judge to ignore the defense arguments, Justice Department lawyers say the hooker allegations “were not so easily disprovable as the defendants suggest.”
Prosecutors used the defense claims to highlight previously undisclosed tidbits on Menendez’s pursuit of younger woman.
The lawyers say their investigation resulted from “specific, corroborated allegations that defendants Menendez and Melgen had sex with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.”
Menendez’s camp said Monday that the Justice Department filing is a smear tactic designed to use the exchange of motions to dump dirt on the senator.
“The filing today shows that the Department of Justice tried to make up for weak allegations about public corruption by soliciting allegations about sex,” said Menendez spokesman Steven Sandberg. “They continue that refrain now with new salacious allegations, again having nothing to do with the actual charges in the case.”
“There is not one interview, paper, email or grand jury witness—not a shred of any evidence—that says Senator Menendez was involved in any prostitution, let alone underage women,” Sandberg said. “Period. And the government knows it.”
The filing discloses circumstantial information indirectly linking Menendez to prostitutes.
The prosecutors noted eyewitness testimony that Melgen, 61, attended a party that included prostitutes, and that he flew “numerous young women” to the Dominican Republic on his private jet.