The investigation pertained to an alleged pay-to-pay scheme involving Bill Clinton and his foundation. The FBI posted 129 pages of heavily redacted records online in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOAI) request that sought information on FBI investigations into the Clinton Foundation.
Specifically, the probe—which closed in 2005 without any charges—dealt with Clinton’s January 2001 pardon of Marc Rich, who was married to a wealthy Democratic donor. At the time, the pardon was heavily derided as being politically motivated
The Nov. 1 release of the records was posted on the FBI’s Twitter account on Tuesday—just days after FBI director James Comey sent a letter to Congress, informing its members about his re-opened investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
William J. Clinton Foundation: This initial release consists of material from the FBI’s files related to the Will… https://t.co/Y4nz3aRSmG
— FBI Records Vault (@FBIRecordsVault) November 1, 2016
While the release doesn’t provide much in the way of new information, the timing of the FBI’s tweet and release of the now-closed investigation into the Clinton Foundation was questioned by a Clinton campaign spokesperson. “Absent an FOIA litigation deadline, this is odd,” spokesman Brian Fallon wrote on Twitter.
An FBI spokesperson said the FOIA request was completed and posted under standard practice, reported Bloomberg News.
It is worth noting that the federal prosecutor who decided not to prosecute Bill Clinton or anyone else in the Rich pardon case was Comey.
On Jan. 20, 2001, Clinton pardoned Rich, the husband of prominent Democratic fundraiser Denise Rich, on his last day as president, and four days later, the New York Times wrote a scathing opinion piece about the pardon, calling it “indefensible.”
The pardon of Rich, it wrote, “would carry a distinct taint and invite irate protests from federal prosecutors like Mary Jo White in Manhattan. That is probably why he kept it a secret that he was considering a pardon, bypassing the normal process in which the Justice Department vets pardon applications and submits them to the president with a recommendation.”