Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he plans to hold hearings on the FBI's conclusion that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should not be prosecuted for her "extremely careless" handling of sensitive and classified information. "I think if you look at the fact pattern -- did she or did she not have classified information in a nonsecure format that went on for years -- the answer's clearly yes. And the statute says that's a violation of law," Chaffetz told Fox News on Tuesday. "The closest parallel that we see, at least at first blush, is (former CIA) Director (John) Deutch, because he did go though this -- he was going to be prosecuted," Chaffetz said. In his announcement on Tuesday, FBI Director James Comey said he could not find a previous case involving the mishandling of classified information that would support bringing criminal charges against Hillary Clinton.
Look no further than Bill Clinton's presidency, the case of John Deutch, Chaffetz said: "This is a person who plugged the computer into the Internet -- the Department of Justice was going to prosecute them, and and then it was President Clinton that offered that person a pardon. And so this has been prosecuted, or at least attempted to be prosecuted, in the past. Why the difference now?" Chaffetz asked. As the Associated Press reported on Jan. 24, 2001: "Former CIA Director John M. Deutch agreed last Friday to plead guilty to a misdemeanor for mishandling government secrets, but President Clinton pardoned him before the Justice Department could file the case against him." Deutch had been expected to plead guilty to a misdemeanor but not be sentenced to any time in prison for keeping classified information on his unsecured home computers, which were linked to the Internet. Bill Clinton pardoned Deutch, among more than 100 others, hours before leaving office.
Chaffetz said he has "a lot of outstanding questions" for Comey and the FBI, and he thinks the American people "have a right to know the truth." Now that the case is all but closed, "There's really no excuse not to provide that information to Congress," he added. Chaffetz said he wants to understand "the breadth of the case," including whether other people are going to face charges, even if Clinton will not. "I think the job of the FBI is to provide the fact pattern to the Department of Justice and not make the political calculation that this is what a reasonable prosecutor would do. That's not the job of the FBI," he said.