The US Department of Justice reportedly instructed FBI not to use "gross negligence" as a reason to prosecute former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over her private email server scandal, a report by The Epoch Times revealed.
The report quotes testimonies by FBI agents — including notorious lawyer Lisa Page and FBI Counterintelligence Division Assistant Director Bill Priestap, who was in charge of the Clinton investigation — before lawmakers which took place behind closed doors in 2018.
According to Page's testimony, the DOJ effectively dictated every step of the investigation to the FBI. The only step the FBI took on its own was the famous statement by FBI Director James Comey, who exonerated Clinton on the email scandal on 5 July 2016.
"Everybody talks about this as if this was the FBI investigation, and the truth of the matter is there was not a single step, other than the July 5th statement, there was not a single investigative step that we did not do in consultation with or at the direction of the Justice Department," Page told congressional investigators on 13 July 2018.
Gross negligence is a statute that, unlike many others, does not require proof of malicious intent to be grounds for prosecution. According to The Epoch Times report, however, the DOJ made it clear it wanted the FBI to prove intent in Clinton's actions, effectively making her prosecution impossible.
"The Department of Justice made a decision that intent was required, even though we have a statute on the books that does not require intent, that [only] requires gross negligence," then-House Majority Counsel Ryan Breitenbach reportedly summarized during the hearings.
"Absent a slip-up on her part, Clinton was effectively in the clear from the outset of the FBI investigation due to the DOJ's decision to require intent," the report reads.
The Epoch Times notes that, with a few exceptions, every person mentioned in the report has been fired or has resigned. Most of those people have been subjected to congressional interviews.