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At Heart of One FBI Inquiry: Critical Book Clinton Cash

It alleges foreign donors got special treatment at State Department
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2016 3:50 AM CDT
Updated Nov 3, 2016 6:39 AM CDT
FBI Agents 'Wanted to Pursue Clinton Foundation Probe'
Former President Bill Clinton speaks during the Hult Prize Finals and Awards Dinner 2016 at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting on Sept. 20, 2016, in New York.   (Mark Von Holden/AP Images for Hult Prize Foundation)

(Newser) – Federal investigations of Hillary Clinton almost played an even bigger role in this election than they already do, insiders say. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that by February of this year, FBI agents thought they had enough evidence to investigate whether Clinton Foundation donors improperly received favorable treatment from the State Department when Hillary Clinton was in charge. Senior Justice Department and FBI officials, however, rejected the evidence—including a secret recording of a suspect in a corruption case talking about deals Bill and Hillary Clinton allegedly made—as insufficient, the sources say. The investigation began after the publication of the book Clinton Cash by conservative writer Peter Schweizer, notes the Journal and the New York Times.

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The book looked at "ethical challenges," including money that flowed to the Clintons after the Russian purchase of a uranium company. Essentially, the book asserted that foreign entities who gave money to the foundation got special treatment by the State Department. CNN reports that the field agents—who also allegedly uncovered a possible suspicious transaction involving a Clinton Foundation donor—were repeatedly told by the Justice Department there wasn't enough evidence for the investigation to proceed, and any issuing of subpoenas or similar steps should not be made until after Election Day. The issue has reportedly caused an escalating feud between FBI agents and federal corruption prosecutors. (President Obama has spoken out on the FBI's handling of Clinton's latest email issue.)

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