DOJ Watchdog Confirms Ongoing Probe Into FBI Leaks to Giuliani

Chris Strohm

(Bloomberg) -- The Justice Department’s watchdog told Congress that he has an ongoing investigation into what appears to be leaks from agents in the New York FBI field office to Rudy Giuliani about the Hillary Clinton email investigation in 2016.

“We were very concerned about that,” Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday. “This continues to this day, we are investigating those contacts.”

The leaked information and threats of more leaks played a role in prompting then-FBI Director James Comey to announce the Clinton email investigation was being re-opened just days before the 2016 election. Clinton and her supporters have long contended that Comey’s decision played a role in her defeat.

“Rudy Giuliani and others appeared to receive highly sensitive leaks from the New York FBI field office -- leaks that likely contributed to Director Comey’s public announcement that he was re-opening the Clinton investigation just days before the election,” Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont said.

Read More: Trump Probe Failings Should Have Prompted Rethink, Watchdog Says

Horowitz said the investigation is complicated and indicated it involves leaks to more people than just Giuliani, who is now President Donald Trump’s lawyer.

“What’s proving to be very hard is to prove the actual substance of the communications between the agents and the reporters or the individuals,” he said. “But we can prove the contacts and under FBI policy you need authorization if you’re going to disclose information and have certain contacts.”

Previously, Horowitz had declined to answer whether the former New York mayor’s possible receipt of leaked information was under investigation.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Strohm in Washington at cstrohm1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kevin Whitelaw at kwhitelaw@bloomberg.net, Bill Faries

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