The FBI Releases 15-Year-Old Files on Bill Clinton Pardon Less Than Week Before Vote

The FBI maintains there was no political motive behind the release of 129 pages of documents into then-President Bill Clinton’s pardon of Democratic donor Marc Rich.

FBI Director James Comey in 2014 Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

While the FBI has maintained that it was simply following protocol, I think we can all agree that it has a horrible sense of timing.

With less than a week to go before the presidential election, the FBI has once again found itself in the middle of presidential drama after reviving a long-dead email scandal involving Hillary Clinton and, on Tuesday, suddenly releasing redacted files involving then-President Bill Clinton’s 2001 pardon of Marc Rich, CNN reports.

The news station notes that many Democrats and some Republicans are questioning the bureau’s actions of the last five days.

“It’s another very puzzling development. We are in the final stages of an important presidential campaign,” Hakeem Jeffries, a Democratic congressman from New York, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room.

“Because of the FBI’s actions, we are talking about emails, Anthony Weiner and a 15-year-old pardon. That doesn’t make any sense, and it undermines the integrity of the democratic process,” Jeffries said. “The FBI and the director owe the American people an explanation as to what is going on.”

Around 1 p.m. Tuesday, the FBI posted a tweet from a little-used account to announce the release of 129 pages of internal documents from a 15-year-old investigation into Clinton’s pardon of the Democratic donor, according to the Washington Post. The campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton called the tweet odd and wondered whether the FBI would be releasing any information about her Republican opponent Donald Trump.

“Will the FBI be posting docs on Trump’s housing discrimination in ’70s?” asked Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon.

The FBI maintains there was no political motive in releasing the documents.

“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 procedures,” its statement read.

Read more at CNN and the Washington Post.

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