- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Obama administration rejected requests from three FBI field offices that wanted to open public corruption probes of the Clinton Foundation, according to a report that added to headaches for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Alerted by banks to suspicious transactions, the FBI wanted to investigate conflicts of interest involving foreign donors to the foundation while Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state. But the Justice Department put the kibosh on the it, CNN reported.

The report added to questions about the blurred line between the activity at the Clinton Foundation and the State Department during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure, which included email made public earlier this week that showed foundation donors getting special treatment at the agency.

Republican nominee Donald Trump’s campaign seized on the new report, saying it confirmed that Mrs. Clinton was benefiting from “political favoritism” and being protected by Obama administration.

“Today’s news that President Obama’s Department of Justice overruled three separate DOJ field offices and the FBI in declining to open a public corruption charge against the Clinton Foundation shows a troubling pattern of Obama and Clinton politicizing any government institution for their own personal political interests,” Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller said in a statement.

“This latest refusal to allow even a cursory investigation into the Clinton Foundation’s pay-for-play dealings smacks of political favoritism. This is exactly why the American public has lost trust in the U.S. government and is ready to elect an outsider like Donald Trump,” said Mr. Miller.

The revelation of the blocked investigation followed a decision last month by the Justice Department to not pursue criminal charges against Mrs. Clinton for her secret email setup as secretary of state, despite the FBI’s determination that she was “extremely careless” and mishandled classified information.

Republicans fiercely criticized that decision.

Mrs. Clinton has maintained that the email setup was a mistake but that she did nothing illegal. And she repeatedly said she did not lie to the American people about it.

However, FBI Director James B. Comey contradicted many of her earlier claims about the email, including her claim that she never handled classified information in the private email account.

The Clinton Foundation was not part of the FBI investigation of the secret email server.

Unrelated to the email, the FBI field offices approached the Justice Department earlier this year and requested to open an investigation of the Clinton family charity. The public integrity unit declined the request, according to the report.

Last year, the Justice Department considered opening a case on the foundation but determined it didn’t have sufficient evidence.

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