In an interview with The Epoch Times published on June 26, Gohmert said that the Chinese “actually hacked Hillary Clinton’s personal server—as our intel community established without any question—even though the FBI refused to ever examine the evidence.
“There’s no question, China was involved,” he added.
Gohmert is the first lawmaker to publicly confirm that China was the foreign actor that hacked Clinton’s server. President Donald Trump is the only other official to have made the same claim.
In July 2018, while questioning former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok, Gohmert said that a forensic analysis of Clinton’s emails conducted by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) had determined that a copy of virtually every email from Clinton’s server was sent to an unauthorized source. At the time, Gohmert described the source as “a foreign entity unrelated to Russia” and said that the ICIG could document the forensic analysis.
“But you were given that information and you did nothing with it,” Gohmert told Strzok.
Strzok led the FBI investigation into the mishandling of classified information linked to Clinton’s use of a private email server. Strzok told Gohmert that he remembered meeting with ICIG officials, but couldn’t recall the specifics. Similar to Strzok, several other key FBI officials involved in the email probe told Congress that they didn’t remember hearing about the ICIG’s referral. The pattern of collective amnesia suggests that one or more officials at the FBI ignored or suppressed the lead.
The ICIG didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The existence of the ICIG’s referral to the FBI was first revealed during the public testimony of Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz in June 2018. In response to questions by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Horowitz acknowledged the existence of the specific lead and said he spoke about it to ICIG Charles McCullough. Horowitz also acknowledged that it would be “curious” if the FBI officials didn’t investigate the lead.
McCullough didn’t respond to a request for comment.
When Meadows pointed out that the inspector general’s 500-page report on the Clinton email investigation doesn’t describe what happened to the ICIG lead, the inspector general also promised to update the committee about what the FBI did to investigate the matter. Meadows’s office didn’t respond to a request to confirm whether Horowitz had delivered the promised update.
According to multiple accounts, McCullough designated ICIG investigator Frank Rucker and ICIG attorney Jeanette McMillian to interface with the FBI about the lead. According to congressional interview transcripts first obtained by The Epoch Times, Rucker and McMillian relayed the lead during a meeting with four FBI officials, including Strzok, Section Chief Dean Chappell, and Executive Assistant Director John Giacolone. The identity of the fourth official hasn’t been confirmed, but it appears that Section Chief Charles “Sandy” Kable was the final participant.
During the meeting, Rucker told the FBI officials that metadata in Clinton’s emails suggests that a copy of every incoming and outgoing email that traversed the Clinton email server was sent to an unauthorized foreign actor. The ICIG office has denied requests for an interview with Rucker.
Notably, Strzok was the only official from the FBI-ICIG meeting to remain on the Clinton email investigation by the time it concluded in July 2016. Kable, Chappell, and Giacolone were all replaced. The rapid turnover didn’t stop there. Every official working the email investigation in the chain of command above Strzok was replaced before the investigation concluded.
The FBI regularly documented its meeting with the ICIG before Strzok was transferred to the investigation in late August 2015, according to documents released by the bureau. The document trail disappears after Strzok was transferred to the probe, at least based on the documents that have already been made public.
In a statement closing the Clinton email probe, then-FBI Director James Comey admitted it was possible the server was hacked by a foreign actor, but said the FBI found no evidence of an intrusion. He added, nevertheless, that a sophisticated foreign actor would leave no evidence.
The FBI declined to comment.
Reports about China hacking Clinton’s server, prior to Gohmert’s revelation, have all been based on anonymous sources. The Daily Caller News Foundation published the first report in August 2018, citing “two sources briefed on the matter.” Fox News confirmed the reporting two days later, citing a “source briefed on the matter.”
The Daily Caller report cited a former intelligence officer to report that the emails went to a Chinese state-owned company operating in Northern Virginia. The name of the company is known to the intelligence community, the former intelligence officer said.
Trump appeared to confirm the Daily Caller and Fox News report in a Twitter message issued the day that Fox News published its report.
“Hillary Clinton’s Emails, many of which are Classified Information, got hacked by China. Next move better be by the FBI & DOJ or, after all of their other missteps (Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr, FISA, Dirty Dossier, etc.), their credibility will be forever gone!” the president wrote on Aug. 29, 2018.
The Daily Caller source claimed that lead was given to the FBI during three separate meetings and that the ICIG discovered the anomaly in Clinton’s emails early in 2015. Since the Daily Caller published its original report, the FBI has released documents confirming that three meetings occurred between the FBI and the ICIG. All three of the documented meetings occurred before Strzok joined the team in late August 2015.
Strzok was fired from the FBI in August 2018.