Senior Justice Department officials gave a “stand down” order to FBI investigators digging into the Clinton Foundation, according to a report.
The order was delivered in February just as voting got under way in the Democratic presidential primary, a source told the Wall Street Journal.
“The message was, ‘We’re done here,’” a source told the paper, saying that prosecutors were not moved by the FBI’s presentation of evidence it had gathered to that point.
Soon after the presentation, Justice Department officials handed down the “stand down” message.
But the probe — which is still ongoing, according to FOX News was kept alive by FBI agents intent on pursuing information gathered from two confidential informants, and a secret audio recording obtained in another public corruption investigation.
At the heart of the investigation were charges made in the 2015 book “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” alleging favorable treatment at Hillary Clinton’s State Department for Clinton Foundation donors.
But prosecutors did not believe the information was strong enough to act on, the report states.
The divergent views led to frustration and feuding between the prosecutors and investigators with the FBI, which is a branch of the DOJ.
An unnamed senior Justice Department official phoned Andrew McCabe, deputy director of the FBI, on Aug. 12 to gripe that investigators were disobeying the order.
“Are you telling me that I need to shut down a validly predicated investigation?’’ McCabe reportedly demanded.
”Of course not,” the senior DOJ official insisted.
Last week, FBI Director James Comey notified Congress that new evidence had emerged in the Hillary Clinton email investigation, jolting the presidential campaign just days before Election Day.