In what may be some overdue, and much needed transparency, the WSJ reports that the FBI will "hand over" its Clinton email probe files to Congress. As a reminder, Clinton spoke with the FBI during the bureau's investigation of her use of her private email server as secretary of state. The data handover could take place in the next few days, and it could happen as early as Monday, an official told CBS. This comes after several Republicans requested the testimony.
Actually, in retrospect, don't hold your breath for any new revelations for one simple reason: there will be no actual testimony.
As CNN reported overnight, the FBI does not have a complete transcript of the interview, FBI Director James Comey told Congress in long testimony earlier this summer, as Hillary was not under oath at the time. Which means members of Congress will have be content with the FBI's notes taken during the interview.
The Democratic presidential nominee met with the FBI for a voluntary interview in early July, which was part of the federal investigation into her use of private email servers. The meeting lasted about three-and-a-half-hours and took place at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Politico first reported that the Obama administration was debating how to release the documents, over concern that the records are politically sensitive.
Ultimately, Comey strongly chastised her use of the server and said she and her staff likely put sensitive information at risk. But he said there was no precedent for recommending criminal charges and the Justice Department agreed there was no criminal case to pursue.
"Our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case," Comey said at the time. "No charges are appropriate in this case." Comey also said that Clinton was "extremely careless" in her handling of sensitive, highly classified information.
The result is that convicted spies are now using the "Hillary defense" to plead for leniency as we reported earlier.
So what will the FBI hand over?
According to the WSJ, the FBI will provide interview notes from its probe of Hillary Clinton’s emails, as well as a summary of all the evidence uncovered by agents and copies of the classified emails at the heart of the case, according to people familiar with the decision. We assume this will exclude the 30,000 or so emails that Hillary Clinton deleted even after she was advised to retain everything as part of the discovery process.
The FBI and the State Department are currently discussing which portions of the agents’ summary of their interview with Mrs. Clinton can be handed over to lawmakers, these people said.
The FBI is also planning to turn over the summaries of interviews with other Clinton aides, these people said. Other investigative material will also likely be turned over, these people said, including the FBI’s broader summary of the facts of the investigation, as well as copies of the 110 emails that contained information that was classified at the time it was sent.
And the punchline: "There could be significant redactions from those documents, these people said."
In other words, fluff. And speaking of fluff, many have suggested that the reason why the FBI will not provide a transcript is precisely so Congress does not realize just how much fluff "questioning" of the persona most likely to be the next US president, took place as part of the off the record interview.
In short, expect a scrubbed, carefully doctored release which will provide absolutely no new information. Still, as the WSJ concludes, "The sharing of investigative details from the FBI increases the likelihood that Mrs. Clinton’s email scandal will remain front and center in the presidential campaign." That, however may be moot, if Trump continues to commit poll suicide at every possible turn: as Hillary continues to widen her lead over her Republican challenger.