FBI bosses hatched deal with Hillary to destroy evidence under subpoena

Newly released documents reveal the Obama administration hatched an agreement with aides of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to destroy laptops, even though they contained materials under subpoena and received ‘subject to preservation’ letters from Congress.

The agreement, spelled out in a June 10, 2016 letter between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Beth Wilkinson, who was the attorney to former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills and ex-campaign staffer Heather Samuelson, confirmed the laptops and any materials on them would be destroyed after FBI agents reviewed them.

The letter has not been made public, and was only discovered this week when members of Congress were finally allowed to read the immunity agreement.

The agreement was made without the consent or knowledge of Congress, which had issued subpoenas in March 2015 requiring those documents to be turned over to investigators.

Destroying materials that have been subpoenaed by Congress is a federal crime.

The identity of the FBI official who approved the deal has not yet been made public.

The destruction of evidence presents Congress with a monumental choice.

Do they find the FBI in contempt of Congress and pursue criminal charges against the law enforcement agency for obstructing an official investigation?

Doing so would defend Congress’ constitutional authority.

Refusing to charge the FBI would affirm that the federal government is no longer accountable to Congress, and would render Congress incapable of investigating wrongdoing.

Congress’ power to issue subpoenas, and enforce them with criminal charges of contempt, was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1821.

In its Anderson vs. Dunn ruling, the Court affirmed that Congress must have subpoena power, and back it up with arrest and conviction, to insure investigations were “… not exposed to every indignity and interruption that rudeness, caprice, or even conspiracy, may mediate against it.”

In other words, unless Congress arrests and brings criminal charges against anyone who destroys evidence under subpoena, there is no way to hold accountable corrupt officials.

That’s vital to the survival of a constitutional republic.

And that is why there is a precedent for arresting and convicting public officials on charges of contempt of Congress; otherwise those under subpoena could simply cut a deal with a political ally in the FBI to “review” their materials and then destroy them.

In 1983, EPA assistant administration Rita Lavelle was convicted and sentenced to six months in prison for obstructing a congressional investigation into the handling of Superfund spending.

She got off relatively easy.

A conviction on charges of contempt of Congress carries a maximum prison term of one year.

So Congress has a decision to make.

While the public does not know the identity of the FBI official who agreed to destroy evidence under subpoena, Congress does.

Will they allow him or her to obstruct an official investigation?

Or will they affirm that the FBI is not an authority unto itself, and must be bound by the law and the constitution?