It's that second part that interested me the most. The discovery of the Weiner cache — and isn't it huge? — has overshadowed the Podesta emails, which contained what I thought was the October surprise: Chelsea Clinton's alarm over the pay-to-play structure of the Clinton Foundation. I cannot understand why the Clinton Foundation hasn't been a much bigger issue.
And now here's the news* that the Department of Justice blocked the FBI's investigation into the Foundation.
New details show that senior law-enforcement officials repeatedly voiced skepticism of the strength of the evidence in a bureau investigation of the Clinton Foundation, sought to condense what was at times a sprawling cross-country effort, and, according to some people familiar with the matter, told agents to limit their pursuit of the case. The probe of the foundation began more than a year ago to determine whether financial crimes or influence peddling occurred related to the charity.McCabe is Andrew McCabe, second in command at the FBI. He's the one whose wife ran for office — for the Virginia state senate — and got $467,500 from a Terry McAuliffe PAC. McAuliffe, the governor of Virginia, used to be a Clinton Foundation board member. McCabe, we're told, only started overseeing the email investigation after his wife lost that election. But there are "other Clinton-related investigations":
Some investigators grew frustrated, viewing FBI leadership as uninterested in probing the charity, these people said. Others involved disagreed sharply, defending FBI bosses and saying Mr. McCabe in particular was caught between an increasingly acrimonious fight for control between the Justice Department and FBI agents pursuing the Clinton Foundation case....
Early this year, four FBI field offices—New York, Los Angeles, Washington and Little Rock, Ark.—were collecting information about the Clinton Foundation to see if there was evidence of financial crimes or influence-peddling, according to people familiar with the matter....But after Comey's statement in July that there should be no prosecution in the email controversy, the FBI refocused on the Foundation.
In February, FBI officials made a presentation to the Justice Department, according to these people. By all accounts, the meeting didn’t go well. Some said that is because the FBI didn’t present compelling evidence to justify more aggressive pursuit of the Clinton Foundation, and that the career anticorruption prosecutors in the room simply believed it wasn’t a very strong case. Others said that from the start, the Justice Department officials were stern, icy and dismissive of the case.
According to a person familiar with the probes, on Aug. 12, a senior Justice Department official called Mr. McCabe to voice his displeasure at finding that New York FBI agents were still openly pursuing the Clinton Foundation probe during the election season....
The Justice Department official was “very pissed off,” according to one person close to Mr. McCabe, and pressed him to explain why the FBI was still chasing a matter the department considered dormant...______________________________
“Are you telling me that I need to shut down a validly predicated investigation?” Mr. McCabe asked, according to people familiar with the conversation. After a pause, the official replied, “Of course not,” these people said....
Others further down the FBI chain of command, however, said agents were given a much starker instruction on the case: “Stand down.”
* The linked piece is long and so substantial that it makes me want to subscribe to the WSJ again just to reward the kind of journalism that I feel we've been starved of. You can get to this article from my link, I believe, and there are always work-arounds to get to WSJ articles. I would pay for the convenience of reading the site in my normal way, but I like reading what I can blog about, and the site doesn't, like the NYT, give subscribers links that will open particular articles for nonsubscribers.