Very interesting. I assume that most agents would be warned not to leak or only to selectively leak any details regarding an on going investigation.
In this case, the warnings appeared to be more ominous and agents would be subjected to lie detector exams if suspected.
This revelation feeds into a "conspiracy theory" that Hillary was not to be indicted no matter what the evidence revealed.
So why did Comey render a de facto personal indictment during his spur of the moment presser. Maybe we should believe him when he said that he made no consultations with anyone and no one else knew what he was about to say?
Comey has taken some severe heat for his final conclusion. Was he ordered to deliver his recommendation for no indictment no matter what he turned up.
Clearly, there is an obvious disconnect between the case he laid out and his conclusion.
Anyone with a modicum of awareness finds the outcome of this entire matter suspect.
The following post goes into details.
'Gag' order: FBI confirms special secrecy agreements for agents in Clinton email probe
by Catherine Herridge/Pamela K. Browne
The FBI has confirmed to a senior Republican senator that agents were
sworn to secrecy -- and subject to lie detector tests -- in the Hillary
Clinton email probe, an extensive measure one former agent said could
have a "chilling effect."
A July 1 letter
sent by a senior deputy to FBI Director James Comey to Senate Judiciary
Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, detailed the restrictions
on agents. The letter, reviewed by Fox News, confirmed agents signed a
"Case Briefing Acknowledgement" which says the disclosure of information
is "strictly prohibited" without prior approval, and those who sign are
subject to lie detector tests.
"The purpose of this form is to
maintain an official record of persons knowledgeable of a highly
sensitive Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence
investigation," the agreement attached to the Grassley letter reads,
"....I (FBI agent) also understand that, due to the nature and
sensitivity of this investigation, compliance with these restrictions
may be subject to verification by polygraph examination."
measures show the extent to which the bureau has gone to keep additional
details of the politically sensitive case from going public. While
Comey has provided some information on why the FBI did not opt to
pursue charges, Attorney General Loretta Lynch repeatedly ducked
questions on specifics of the case at a House hearing Tuesday.
recently retired FBI agent, who declined to speak on the record, citing
the sensitivity of the matter, said a "Case Briefing Acknowledgement"
is reserved for "the most sensitive of sensitive cases," and can have a
"chilling effect" on agents, who understand "it comes from the very top
and that there has to be a tight lid on the case."
agent said the agreements can also contribute to "group think" because
investigators cannot bounce ideas off other agents, only those within a
Grassley first wrote to the FBI Director
February 4 after a Fox News report that agents were asked to sign
additional non-disclosure agreements. In his response to the senator,
the FBI's Assistant Director, Office of Congressional Affairs, Stephen
D. Kelly, said “this was not a unique circumstance” and agents "may from
time to time be asked to sign similar forms.”
July letter also says that the purpose of the agreement was two-fold:
"to maintain an official record of all persons knowledgeable of this
highly unusual investigation, and to remind individuals of their
obligations to protect classified and sensitive information." The letter
states "no one refused to sign" or “raised any questions or concerns.”
said last week more than 100 classified emails were sent or received by
Hillary Clinton, including some at the Top Secret level, which would
require agents to have the necessary clearance to review and
investigate. Some of the intelligence came from the U.S. government's
most closely held programs, known as Special Access Programs, or SAP and
included human spying.
The "Case Briefing Acknowledgement" is
more evidence that the probe was always a serious criminal
investigation, and never a "security review" or "security inquiry" as
described by Clinton and her campaign team.
Responding one day
after the FBI director said he would not recommend criminal charges,
Grassley pointed to Comey's conclusions that a limited number of emails
had classified markings, thousands of work related emails were not
turned over by Clinton to the State Department despite a sworn
declaration to a federal court and her public assurances, as well as
"potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of
"In light of all these inconsistencies,
it is even more troubling that the FBI tried to gag its agents with a
non-disclosure agreement on this matter, in violation of whistleblower
protection statutes," Grassley said in the strongly worded letter.
"...you indicated that agents working on this case were required to
sign a non-disclosure agreement that failed to exempt protected
whistleblowing. Only after I wrote to you did you advise your FBI agents
that they are still free to speak with Congress regarding waste, fraud,
The "Case Briefing Acknowledgement Addendum"
provided to Senator Grassley after the initial FBI response July 1 makes
clear the agreement does not supersede or conflict with "communications
to Congress" and "the reporting to an Inspector General of a violation,
or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety,
or….any other whistleblower protection."
Grassley also noted the timing of the FBI's response five months after his original request for information on the NDAs, with a partial response July 1, and full response on July 5 2016, the same day the FBI made a public recommendation at bureau headquarters against criminal charges.
The New York Post
first reported that the "Case Briefing Acknowledgement" was signed by
the Clinton email agents, citing anonymous sources, but the Grassley
letter is believed to be the first public acknowledgement by the FBI,
and includes a sample copy of the non-disclosure agreement.
letter is wide ranging, and beyond the non-disclosure agreements,
requests a response by July 20 to questions including whether, after
Bill Clinton and Lynch’s June 28 meeting on a Phoenix airport tarmac,
there is no need for a special counsel. He also wanted to know about the
FBI’s reported agreement that some questions would be off limits for
Clinton’s personal attorney Cheryl Mills, and whether the FBI or Justice
Department raised concerns that several of Clinton’s associates used
the same attorneys to represent them in the investigation.
Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX
News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence,
the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge
joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.
Browne is Senior Executive Producer at the FOX News Channel (FNC) and is
Director of Long-Form Series and Specials. Her journalism has been
recognized with several awards. Browne first joined FOX in 1997 to
launch the news magazine “Fox Files” and later, “War Stories.”
Source: Fox News/Politics