The Federal Bureau of Investigations issued a terse statement today regarding President Donald J. Trump’s allegation via Twitter that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private mail server had been compromised by the Chinese government. The official statement, issued by an FBI spokesperson in response to an inquiry by NBC News, simply read, “The FBI has not found any evidence the servers were compromised”—referring to the three email servers used by Clinton during and after her tenure at the US State Department.
Just after midnight this morning—apparently in response to a Daily Caller article—Trump tweeted:
Hillary Clinton’s Emails, many of which are Classified Information, got hacked by China. Next move better be by the FBI & DOJ or, after all of their other missteps (Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr, FISA, Dirty Dossier etc.), their credibility will be forever gone!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018
A June report from the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General noted that the FBI had found no evidence of any compromise of Clinton’s mail servers—though full forensic analysis of the servers wasn’t possible, because one (an Apple server) had been disposed of by the time of the investigation. However, as the OIG report recounted, the FBI’s computer forensics agent who was involved in the Clinton email investigation told OIG investigators that:
…although he did not believe there was “any way of determining…100%” whether Clinton’s servers had been compromised, he felt “fairly confident that there wasn’t an intrusion.” When asked whether a sophisticated foreign adversary was likely to be able to cover its tracks, he stated, “They could. Yeah. But I, I felt as if we coordinated with the right units at headquarters… for those specific adversaries… And the information that was returned back to me was that there was no indication of a compromise.”
The Daily Caller’s claims are linked to statements and questions asked by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) during testimony by (now former) FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok before the House Judiciary Committee. Gohmert referenced a letter from I. Charles McCullough III, the Inspector General of the intelligence community, in which Gohmert said McCullough had described “anomalies” in Clinton emails. They asserted that the anomalies showed all of the emails passing through Clinton’s server were being forwarded to an “unauthorized entity” that Gohmert said was “unrelated to Russia.” Strzok denied that such information had been passed along to him.
There is a classified addendum to the Justice OIG report, so the full extent of the evidence considered in the Clinton investigation may not be known for decades.