Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said he thinks he’s identified two FBI employees whose names were masked in the recent report by the Office of the Inspector General (IG), a Justice Department watchdog.
The employees, identified by the IG as FBI Attorney 1 and FBI Attorney 2, played important roles in investigations concerning both presidential frontrunners during the leadup to the 2016 election. One has been criticized in the IG report for anti-Trump bias, while the other, based on the report, was key in the month-delayed reopening of the Clinton investigation right before the election.
“Would one of those attorneys be Sally Moyer?” Meadows asked IG Michael Horowitz during a June 19 congressional hearing on the Clinton investigation. Horowitz didn’t confirm.
“Is the other one Kevin Clinesmith?” Meadows asked. Horowitz wouldn’t say.
The IG report stated FBI Attorney 1 was a supervisory attorney in the FBI National Security Law Branch, while FBI Attorney 2 was “a more junior attorney.”
Both were assigned by the FBI Office of General Counsel to provide legal support to the Clinton investigation team. Both also worked on the investigation into Russian meddling in the election. Allegations that the campaign of then-candidate Donald Trump colluded with the Russian efforts were used to justify an extensive spying operation against the Trump campaign.
Moyer was identified as a unit chief of the National Security Law Branch in a December 2016 Justice Department document.
Clinesmith was identified as an FBI general attorney in a 2016 leak of a partial FBI employee directory.
An email to Clinesmith returned an automated reply stating he’s out of the office until June 27.
“If you need immediate assistance, please contact UC Sally Moyer,” the email said, referring to Moyer with an acronym for unit chief.
When asked to comment, Moyer stated, “I’m not interested in talking,” and directed inquiries to the FBI press office.
The FBI press office had no comment.
FBI Attorney 2 was one of the five FBI employees on the Clinton investigation whose bias against Trump and in favor of Hillary Clinton “has brought discredit to themselves, sowed doubt about the FBI’s handling of the [Clinton] investigation, and impacted the reputation of the FBI,” the IG report stated.
The day after the presidential election, FBI Attorney 2 lamented Trump’s win in an exchange with another staffer identified as “FBI Employee” (who was not involved in the Clinton investigation).
“I’m just devastated. I can’t wait until I can leave today and just shut off the world for the next four days,” he wrote.
“Plus, my [expletive] name is all over the legal documents investigating his staff,” he later added.
On Nov. 22, 2016, FBI Attorney 2 messaged FBI Attorney 1 a comment on how much a Trump campaign staffer was paid.
FBI Attorney 1 replied, “Is it making you rethink your commitment to the Trump administration?”
“Hell no,” FBI Attorney 2 wrote, and added, “Viva le resistance.”
When confronted about the comment by the IG, FBI Attorney 2 said, “It’s just my political view in terms of, of my preference. It wasn’t something along the lines of, you know, we’re taking certain actions in order to, you know, combat that or, or do anything like that.”
FBI Attorney 1 told the IG she took the comment as a joke and that it didn’t affect her work on the Russia investigation.
Based on the IG report, FBI Attorney 1 played a significant role in delaying the reopening of the Clinton investigation after thousands of Clinton emails were discovered on the laptop of disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner.
The Clinton investigation team knew about the discovery on Sept. 28, 2016, but only decided to seek a search warrant to review the evidence on Oct. 27, less than two weeks before the election.
FBI Attorney 1 participated in a Sept. 29, 2016, conference call between the FBI New York Field Office (which worked on the unrelated Weiner case) and the Clinton investigation personnel, the IG report stated.
While all the other eight participants of the call told the IG they were clear the Weiner laptop was connected to the Clinton investigation, and that the Clinton investigation team needed to get a search warrant to obtain the data, FBI Attorney 1 told the IG she was under the impression the New York Field Office wasn’t sure “whether or not it had anything to do with” the Clinton investigation.
She also said she thought it wasn’t the right time yet to get the warrant and that the New York Field Office was supposed to follow up on the meeting. She couldn’t explain why she thought it was the New York’s responsibility to follow up.
She said she then briefed the lead investigator on the Clinton case, Peter Strzok. No action to obtain the warrant was taken for the next several weeks.
FBI Attorney 2 later worked on the Russia investigation with special counsel Robert Mueller, but was taken off in February after the IG gave his messages to the Mueller team.