A Department of Justice official, who is responsible for keeping Congress up to date about the re-opened probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private, unsecured e-mail server during her tenure as secretary of State, reportedly leaked information about the initial probe to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, according to e-mails WikiLeaks published on Tuesday.
Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik, who sent a letter to Congress on Monday stating that the department would work with the FBI to “take appropriate steps as expeditiously as possible” when investigating Clinton, reportedly sent an e-mail to Podesta last year with the subject line “Heads up.”
“There is a HJC oversight hearing today where the head of our Civil Division will testify,” Kadzik wrote. “Likely to get questions on State Department emails. Another filing in the FOIA case went in last night or will go in this am that indicates it will be awhile (2016) before the State Department posts the emails.”
The e-mail, which is dated May 19, 2015, corresponds with a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the same day, during which DOJ Civil Division head Benjamin Mizer gave testimony. According to the official transcript of the hearing, Hillary’s e-mails were never mentioned, thus the “heads up” seems to indicate Kadzik was worried Republican representatives on the committee might bring it up when questioning Mizer. It also implies that Kadzik wanted Podesta to perhaps inform members of Congress on the committee who were friendly to Clinton so they could have an opportunity to redirect or thwart a line of questioning about Hilary’s e-mails.
The “heads up” e-mail is dated just two weeks after Kadzik asked Podesta to consider Kadzik’s son for a job on the Clinton campaign. His ask isn’t all that surprising, given their close relationship. In 1998, Kadzik was Podesta’s attorney when Podesta was being investigated for his role in getting Monica Lewinsky a job at the United Nations, according to Fox News. In an e-mail from 2008 which was published by WikiLeaks, Podesta wrote that Kadzik was a “fantastic lawyer” who “kept me out of jail.”
During Clinton’s failed presidential bid in 2008, Kadzik donated $3,300 to PACs in support of Clinton. In 2012, Kadzik gave $250 to vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine’s senatorial campaign. He also wrote a $250 check to Podesta’s daughter’s school board campaign, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
The DOJ maintains that Kadzik isn’t directly overseeing the re-opened probe, and that he is merely responsible for keeping Congress up to date and responding to their inquiries on the case, a department spokesman told the Free Beacon.
In June, Attorney General Loretta Lynch secretly met with Bill Clinton aboard a private airplane on a tarmac just before Lynch announced the DOJ would not press charges against Hillary Clinton. The timing of these two events have caused many to question the integrity of the investigation and the DOJ itself.
Even though the DOJ says he isn’t in charge of the investigation, Kazdik’s role in the probe, no matter how minor, is cause for alarm. His close ties to the Clinton campaign, and willingness to give them a “heads up” in what seems like an attempt to thwart a judiciary hearing, raise questions about the investigation.