The FBI announced the release on its FBI Records Vault on Tuesday morning. The vault is where all Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are released, but the timing is still questionable to many bipartisan lawmakers, such as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who wrote a letter to FBI Director James Comey, questioning the need to notify Congress about the newly discovered emails.
The FBI has yet to offer an explanation on why they publicized the release on Twitter. However, a law enforcement official told Bloomberg that it was the result of the FBI completing a FOIA request.
The Clinton campaign remains skeptical with spokesman Brian Fallon taking to Twitter to express his concerns.
Marc Rich was indicted in 1983 on federal charges of tax evasion and making illegal deals with Iran during an embargo. Rich responded to the charges by fleeing to Switzerland, where he remained until he was pardoned by Bill Clinton in the last hours of his presidency in January 2001. The pardon was controversial, as Rich’s ex-wife, Denise, had made donations exceeding $1 million to the Democratic Party, including a $450,000 donation to the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park.
Almost immediately after the pardon, the ex-president faced accusations that the pardon had been purchased in a quid-pro-quo move. Even his staunchest supporters struggled to defend it. Former President Jimmy Carter believed the last-minute pardon was “one of his most serious mistakes in the way he handled the pardon situation the last few hours he was in office,” he told CBS News.
The notoriously genteel Carter went so far as to say, “I don’t think there is any doubt that some of the factors in his pardon were attributable to his large gifts. In my opinion, that was disgraceful.“