On Thursday, Hillary Clinton popped up on Twitter to retweet a message from Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe, who’s taken heat this year for peddling anti-Trump conspiracy theories.
‘Retweet if you agree it’s totally crazy to suggest that the FBI – having helped sink Hillary’s campaign by revealing that she was under investigation while concealing that Trump was being investigated – has secretly been anti-Trump all along,’ Tribe tweeted to his 265,000 Twitter followers Wednesday night.
Tribe was pushing back on Trump and his allies’ attempts to soil the reputation of the FBI by suggesting the agency has a widespread anti-Trump bias.
Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe instructed followers on Wednesday night to retweet his message if they believed it was ‘totally crazy’ that the FBI was anti-Trump after the way the agency handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation
Hillary Clinton (left) retweeted Laurence Tribe’s (right) tweet Thursday, which pointed out one major beef Democrats have with the FBI – that the agency didn’t confirm the existence of the Russia-Trump probe until after the presidential election
The president has particularly lashed out at the FBI’s Deputy Director Andrew McCabe over his wife receiving a campaign donation from the PAC of Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime friend and supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Over the weekend, the president called attention to the FBI’s General Counsel James Baker being reassigned, which is standard procedure when a new boss – in this case freshly-confirmed FBI Director Christopher Wray – takes over.
Republicans on Capitol Hill, however, had tried to suggest that Baker was the person who leaked details about the dirty dossier to Mother Jones reporter David Corn, who has gone on the record and stated that Baker was not his source.
Trump and GOP lawmakers also made great hay over the discovery that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had removed an agent from the ongoing Russia investigation over anti-Trump text messages to his mistress who also worked for the FBI.
Tribe’s tweet, which had garnered 24,000 retweets and 30,000 likes around the time Clinton chimed in, called attention to the Democrats’ issues with the FBI.
Clinton, herself, often pointed to the letter former FBI Director James Comey sent to members of Congress on October 28, 2016 – 11 days before the presidential election – alerting lawmakers that more of the Democratic nominee’s emails had been found and would be reviewed by investigators.
But Tribe’s point was broader.
Around the same time Comey’s letter came out, there were reports that the FBI was also investigating Russian influence on the campaign and Kremlin ties to Trump’s crew – particularly Paul Manafort, who was indicted this year – but those stories weren’t verified until months after the election.
It wasn’t until March 20 – exactly two months after Trump was sworn in – that then FBI Director James Comey told the House Intelligence Committee that, ‘The FBI, as part of our counterintelligence effort, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 president election.’
Comey added that the investigation included looking into ‘any links between associates of the Trump campaign and the Russian government’ and whether there was ‘any coordination’ between the two.
The FBI had opened its Russia probe in July 2016.
The agency’s investigation into Clinton’s private server that she used to handle government emails during her tenure as secretary of state haunted her campaign for nearly its entirety.
The New York Times broke the story that she had used a homebrew server while at the State Department in March 2015, a month before Clinton declared her candidacy.
In July 2015, government investigators said they found classified material on Clinton’s server, which is how the probe was taken up by the FBI that summer.
A year later, Comey held a press conference, considered an unprecedented move, in July 2016 to announce that Clinton wouldn’t be charged, though called her ‘extremely careless’ in her handling of classified material.
After the October surprise letter was sent, the Clinton email probe concluded a second time on November 6, two days before the presidential election, with Comey informing lawmakers that no new information had been found.
When testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in May, days before he was fired, Comey said he believed he had treated the Clinton and the Trump investigations the same way.
‘With respect to the Russia investigation, we treated it like we did with the Clinton investigation,’ Comey said. ‘We didn’t say a word about it until months into it, and then the only thing we’ve confirmed so far about this is – the same thing as with the Clinton investigation – that was are investigating.’