Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnsonon Thursday formally sought “all email communications” between Hillary Clinton and former President Obama, saying the Justice Department was blocking their release — even though they could shed light on whether the former secretary of state discussed sensitive matters on her unsecured personal email system while she was overseas.
Johnson’s letter came as House Democrats approved procedures for their impeachment inquiry against President Trump, warning he may have endangered U.S. national security by allegedly withholding aid to Ukraine for political reasons. Earlier this month, a State Department report into Clinton’s use of a private email server for government business found dozens of people at fault and hundreds of security violations.
In a letter to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Johnson, R-Wis., said summer 2016 communications from FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok to FBI Director James Comey’s Chief of Staff James Rybicki hinted at the existence of the Clinton-Obama messages that were relevant to the issues raised by her private server.
Johnson noted that on June 28, 2016, a week before Comey’s public statement declaring that “no reasonable prosecutor” would charge Clinton, Strzok wrote, “Jim – I have the POTUS – HRC emails [Director Comey] requested at end of briefing yesterday. I hesitate to leave them, please let me know a convenient time to drop them off.”
“I write to request email communications between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama,” Johnson wrote, setting a deadline of Nov. 14, 2019. “In January 2018, I requested the Department of Justice (DOJ) produce emails Secretary Clinton sent to President Obama while she was located in the ‘territory of a sophisticated adversary.'”
He added: “Given that DOJ acknowledged that they ‘are not in a position’ to produce emails to the committee that contain ‘equities of other executive branch entities,’ I ask that, pursuant to the Presidential Records Act, you please provide all email communications between Secretary Clinton and President Obama.”