FBI renews 2015 inquiry into Clinton Foundation: Reports

Key Points
  • The Department of Justice is reportedly continuing its years-long probe of the Clinton Foundation, after temporarily suspending the inquiry during the 2016 presidential election.
  • The FBI interviewed a potential witness in the investigation last month, according to The Hill.
  • Republicans in Congress have been pressuring the Justice Department for months to investigate various elements of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton's career.
FBI probe of Clinton Foundation reopened

The Department of Justice is reportedly continuing its long-running probe of the nonprofit Clinton Foundation, and whether any donors to the foundation created by former President Bill Clinton received favorable treatment during Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of State.

On Friday, The Hill newspaper reported that FBI officials conducted at least one interview in the past month with a potential witness. The officials were from Little Rock, Arkansas, where the foundation was founded.

The interview appears to be the latest step in an inquiry that the Department of Justice began in 2015 and temporarily suspended the following year, during Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. The Washington Post reported that the investigation was put on hold in 2016 so as not to give the appearance that the DOJ was attempting to influence the outcome of the election.

In a statement to CNBC, Clinton Foundation spokesman Craig Minassian said: "Time after time, the Clinton Foundation has been subjected to politically motivated allegations, and time after time these allegations have been proven false. None of this has made us waver in our mission to help people. The Clinton Foundation has demonstrably improved the lives of millions of people across America and around the world while earning top ratings from charity watchdog groups in the process. There are real issues in our society needing attention that the Clinton Foundation works hard to solve every day. So we're going to stay focused on what really matters."

The newly reported interview came after months of pressure on the Justice Department and on Attorney General Jeff Sessions from Republicans in Congress, who have demanded that the department appoint a special counsel to investigate what they say are questionable actions by the Clintons on a wide range of issues.

The DOJ responded to the lawmakers' calls with a letter in November, saying it would review whether "any matters currently under investigation require further resources." By that time, the Post reported Friday, the Clinton Foundation inquiry had already been revived.