More than seven weeks after FBI Director James Comey’s July 5 announcement closing the case on Hillary Clinton’s personal email use, Republican calls are growing for prosecutors to take a closer look – at everything from perjury questions to the tangled dealings with Clinton Foundation donors during the candidate’s tenure leading the State Department.
And on Thursday, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy pointed out another potential problem with the bureau’s original email investigation.
After viewing the FBI’s tightly held file on the case, the South Carolina congressman told Fox News it doesn’t appear investigators asked Clinton about the issue that was the basis for not pursuing charges – known as “intent.”
During Comey’s congressional testimony last month, he said while Clinton was “negligent” and “careless” in her use of personal email for official business, “What we can’t establish is that she acted with the necessary criminal intent.”
But Gowdy said that in reviewing the FBI’s interview file, “I didn’t see any questions on the issue of intent.”
Meanwhile, Donald Trump has steadily racked up endorsements from fellow Republicans for his call earlier this week to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the ties between the family foundation and her State Department.
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Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., a Trump supporter, was the latest to back that call late Wednesday, saying in a statement “we need an independent prosecutor to investigate the corrupt Clinton Foundation.”
The newest calls follow an Associated Press report Tuesday that more than half of the non-government people with whom Clinton met as secretary of state donated to her family foundation.
The Clinton campaign said the AP relied on “utterly flawed data” and “cherry-picked a limited subset of Secretary Clinton's schedule to give a distorted portrayal of how often she crossed paths with individuals connected to charitable donations to the Clinton Foundation.”
Asked Wednesday about the calls for a special prosecutor, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest suggested there was little need.
“President Obama and the administration have complete confidence in the independent career prosecutors at the Department of Justice and the FBI who devoted significant time and attention to investigating Secretary Clinton's email practices,” he said. “… I just think it's hard for anybody to make a very persuasive case that somehow there hasn’t been enough investigating, particularly when you layer on top of that all of the congressional hearings and testimony that's gone on with regard to Secretary Clinton's tenure at the State Department.”
The calls for a special prosecutor come after House Republicans already were looking to the FBI to examine whether Clinton committed perjury during her 2015 congressional testimony on her email practices.
In a letter obtained by Fox News, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., asked U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips to look at “four pieces of sworn testimony” they claimed were “incompatible with the FBI's findings.”
Among those discrepancies, they said Clinton testified there was “nothing marked classified” on her emails, yet Comey said a “very small number” of emails had markings indicating classified information.
The Justice Department Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs, Peter Kadzik, confirmed in an Aug. 2 letter to both committees they had the perjury investigation request and the department would "take appropriate action as necessary."