WASHINGTON — The FBI has handed over a ‘‘number of documents’’ to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, a spokesman said Tuesday afternoon.
The documents are expected to contain information about the FBI’s investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server as secretary of state. The committee is currently reviewing the information in them, which was classified as ‘‘secret.’’
‘‘The FBI has turned over a ‘number of documents’ related to their investigation of former Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail server. Committee staff is currently reviewing the information that is classified SECRET. There are no further details at this time,’’ said a committee spokesman.
Republican and Democratic spokesmen for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence confirmed that that committee had also received the Clinton files. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi’s office said that the House Judiciary Committee had also received copies of the FBI information on Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, said earlier Tuesday that the FBI ‘‘will be providing classified documents to the relevant congressional committees today.’’ The office deferred to those committees for updates going forward.
In early July, FBI Director James Comey recommended that the department not pursue formal charges against Clinton for her use of a personal e-mail server as secretary of state.
Comey said that ‘‘no reasonable prosecutor’’ would bring such a case despite ‘‘evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information.’’ He added that Clinton and her staffers were ‘‘extremely careless’’ in their ‘‘handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.’’
‘‘The FBI already determined unanimously that there is insufficient evidence of criminal wrongdoing,’’ said Maryland Representative Elijah Cummings, Oversight’s top Democrat. ‘‘Republicans are now investigating the investigator in a desperate attempt to resuscitate this issue, keep it in the headlines, and distract from Donald Trump’s sagging poll numbers.’’
But during July 7 testimony before the Oversight Committee, Comey defended his decision not to bring charges against the Democratic nominee before incredulous Republican lawmakers.
It is not clear exactly what information the congressional committees will release regarding the content of the FBI’s documents.
The GOP-led committees have not provided details about the full contents of the FBI’s submission to Congress. But the House Intelligence Committee’s ranking member, Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, said in a statement that the committee had received ‘‘the FBI witness interview reports, including that of Secretary Clinton’s interview, along with other materials from the FBI’s now closed investigative file.’’
Schiff added there was ‘‘little legitimate purpose’’ to releasing the documents, except for e-mails that came from Clinton’s private server, as ‘‘their contents will simply be leaked for political purposes.’’
‘‘This has been done in the name of transparency, but as this precedent chills the cooperation of other witnesses in the future, I suspect the Department of Justice will later come to refer to it by a different name — mistake,’’ Schiff said.
Pennsylvania Democrat Matt Cartwright, a member of the House’s Oversight Committee, suggested Tuesday that Republican leaders were focusing on the FBI documents as an ‘‘unreasonable’’ political diversion from the campaign trail, particularly GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
‘‘They may be willing to risk appearing completely unreasonable, if that helps distract people from the next utterly insane or un-American thing that Donald Trump says,’’ Cartwright said.
At the State Department, where Clinton once served, spokesman Mark Toner told reporters that the department had ‘‘been provided e-mails the FBI intends to give to Congress and we’ve reviewed them.’’
State Department officials asked the FBI to keep them ‘‘apprised of any information that they provided to Congress,’’ Toner said.
But he added that officials had not yet received the summaries of the FBI’s interviews, referred to as ‘‘302s,’’ with Clinton regarding her e-mail server,
‘‘We continue to work with the FBI on those interview summaries,’’ Toner said Tuesday. ‘‘We have not received those summaries yet.’’
The e-mail server has become a thorn in the side of Clinton’s presidential campaign as she has repeatedly tried to explain why she used a private server for her e-mails. Clinton has said it was a ‘‘mistake’’ to use the server and that she is ‘‘sorry’’ she did so.
Further controversy, however, was sparked when Clinton said Comey testified she spoke truthfully in public about the private server. Clinton had to clarify her remarks, saying she had “short-circuited” and that the FBI director had only indicated she was truthful in her interviews with the agency.
Clinton maintains she told the truth both publicly and to the FBI about the e-mail server.