In what must be horrific timing from the view of the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, the FBI has released 129 pages of files and records pertaining to the FBI’s 2001 investigation into President Bill Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich.
The records were released following a Freedom of Information Act request which are processed in the order in which they are received. But Politico reported the Clinton campaign is not seeing it that way:
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign raised questions about the timing of the FBI’s release Tuesday of records on a 15-year-old investigation of President Bill Clinton’s pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich.
Among their issues are both the timing of the release and the apparent additional notification of the document release. The documents were initially posted to the FBI website on Monday and a Tweet then posted on Tuesday supposedly to draw additional attention to their existence. Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon tweeted the following: “Absent a FOIA litigation deadline, this is odd. Will FBI be posting docs on Trump’s housing discrimination in the ‘70s?”
Besides reminding the electorate of one of the many scandals of the Bill Clinton era, the documents also included unflattering details that may scar the current Clinton campaign. For example, the probe was conducted within the “Public Corruption Unit” as investigators sought to determine if donations made by Rich’s wife to the Democratic Party “may have been intended to influence the fugitive’s pardon.”
The FBI defended their timing. An FBI spokesperson said:
By law, FOIA materials that have been requested three or more times are posted electronically to the FBI’s public reading room shortly after they are processed. Per the standard procedure for FOIA, these materials became available for release and were posted automatically and electronically to the FBI’s public reading room in accordance with the law and established procedure.
If the reminder of this scandal sounds eerily similar to news we have been learning recently about Hillary Clinton, it’s because it is. WikiLeaks emails have been full of examples of the pay-to-play schemes between donations to the Clinton Foundation and access to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.