The Justice Department has launched a new probe into the Clinton Foundation to find out whether it was engaged in pay-to-play politics or other illegal activities while Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State.
Law enforcement officials informed The Hill on Thursday night that FBI agents from Little Rock, Arkansas, where the Foundation was established, are leading the investigation and have interviewed at least one witness within the past month. Law enforcement officials say additional interviews and other activities are expected in the next few weeks.
Speaking under the condition of anonymity, officials said the inquiry is looking at whether Bill and Hillary Clinton gave out any favors in exchange for gifts to the Clinton Foundation, or whether donors who gave money to the charity made commitments in expectation of government outcomes.
The probe also seeks to examine whether tax-exempt assets were exchanged for personal or political use, and whether the Foundation complied with tax laws.
One witness interviewed by the FBI told The Hill that investigators were “extremely professional and unquestionably thorough” in their inquiry, and asked questions about whether donors of the Clinton charity received favors from the Obama administration.
He said the questions revolved around government decisions and discussions of donations to Clinton entities during her tenure as the Secretary of State under President Barack Obama.
Spokespeople for Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation did not respond to requests for comment before the article went live, but the spokespeople previously denied any wrongdoing on part of the Clintons. They stated that the investigation was intended to distract from the probe into President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.
In late 2016, the Wall Street Journal reported that several FBI field offices, including the one in Little Rock, were collecting data on the Clinton Foundation for more than a year. The report stated that their inquiries were hampered by the Justice Department.
The renewed investigation follows a promise to Congress by Trump Justice Department officials to revisit questions and legal issues that were closed or ignored during Obama’s years in office.