The FBI’s criminal investigation of gun trafficking is ramping up as it looks to determine whether former FBI Director James Comey mishandled the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
The FBI’s probe of the Clinton email probe, which led to Comey’s dismissal, has taken on new urgency after the Justice Department announced Thursday that it would investigate whether the former FBI chief and former acting attorney general violated federal law when he refused to inform Congress in 2015 about the FBI investigation into Clinton’s email practices.
Comey’s ouster by President Donald Trump came after the bureau revealed in October that it had reopened an investigation into whether Clinton and her aides violated federal laws regarding foreign bribery and corruption, which would have brought her to the same level as former President Richard Nixon in terms of criminal prosecution.
The bureau said it was also investigating whether Comey, in his role as acting director, broke any federal law in his handling of the investigation into the emails.
Comey, who was fired by Trump last week, has not been charged.
The DOJ is also investigating the possible misuse of federal funds to pay for the Clinton-related defense, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
The source did not identify the source.
Comeys lawyers have denied that he obstructed justice by refusing to tell Congress.
But, in a letter sent to Congress last week after Trump fired Comey, Trump’s attorneys said they had found no evidence of obstruction of justice and said there was no evidence Comey lied about the existence of the FBI probe.
The probe into the Clinton emails was led by the FBI and conducted by the bureau and its partners at the Justice and Treasury Departments.