Watchdog: No evidence Giuliani had Clinton probe inside info

The Justice Department’s inspector general said Thursday that it did not find evidence that FBI agents shared inside information about the Hillary Clinton email investigation with Rudy Giuliani.

The question of whether anyone had leaked information to Giuliani arose after the former New York mayor said in an Oct. 26, 2016, television appearance that then-candidate Donald Trump had “some pretty big surprises” in the coming days. Two days later, James Comey, the FBI director at the time, revealed that the FBI would reopen the Clinton email investigation following the discovery of new emails.

The inspector general looked into whether anyone had improperly tipped off Giuliani, and more broadly examined contacts between FBI officials and reporters during the course of the investigation into whether Clinton had mishandled classified information on her personal email server.

According to a report issued Thursday, Giuliani told the watchdog office that he had not received any information about the Clinton investigation and that Comey’s comments reopening the probe were a “shock to me. I had no foreknowledge of them.” He said he hadn’t been in contact with any current FBI agents during that month, and that the former officials he communicated with did not have information about FBI investigations.

As part of the investigation, the inspector general’s office asked the FBI to determine which agents may have been in touch with Giuliani. The FBI identified four employees, but each employee told the watchdog office during interviews they had not had any contact with Giuliani.

The FBI said the four employees had used their FBI devices to call telephone numbers associated with Giuliani, but the inspector general’s office said that information was either outdated or meaningless.

Two of the phone numbers were for the general line of the New York office of the law firm where Giuliani had worked, and the other two were for businesses “at which Giuliani had not been affiliated since at least 2007,” the inspector general’s office said.

“The telephone numbers attributed by the FBI to Giuliani were not, therefore, specific to Giuliani,” the report said. “Accordingly, the purported investigative leads provided by the FBI based on alleged FBI employee contacts with Giuliani were inaccurate.”

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Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP

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