When anchor Poppy Harlow asked Fuentes whether what he was relating were "facts you know from the FBI," Fuentes responded: "Yes, I do. Senior officials at the FBI, several of them."
Wall Street Journal article published Wednesday provided details of the dispute between the FBI and the Department of Justice over the Clinton Foundation. The article notes that the investigation into the Clinton Foundation began in the summer of 2015 and reports that FBI officials on the investigation believed they had collected enough evidence to intensify their probe. Officials at the Justice Department disagreed and the dispute continued as the presidential nominating contests got underway. As FBI agents pushed to do more, Justice Department officials discouraged their efforts. On August 12, according the WSJ, a senior Justice Deparment official called FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to complain that FBI agents were "disregarding or disobeying" instructions from DOJ. "The conversation was a tense one, they said, and at one point Mr. McCabe asked, 'Are you telling me that I need to shut down a validly predicated investigation?' The senior Justice Department official replied: 'Of course not.'"
Despite these details, NBC's Pete Williams questioned whether an investigation into the Clinton Foundation ever happened. "There really isn't one," Williams told Chuck Todd in an exchange on MSNBC. "Few want to call it an investigation. That's a term of art in the FBI. There was an initial inquiry that was opened a couple months ago based largely on media reports and a book called Clinton Cash."
Williams timeline contradicts the one reported by the Wall Street Journal, which put the start of the investigation in the summer of 2015 – not "a couple months ago." From the Journal: "Agents, using informants and recordings from unrelated corruption investigations, thought they had found enough material to merit aggressively pursuing the investigation into the foundation that started in summer 2015 based on claims made in a book by a conservative author called "Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich," these people said.
Whether the source of confusion is semantics or politics, a few things are clear: the FBI launched an inquiry of some kind into the Clinton Foundation; some DOJ officials didn't approve of the FBI investigation; and numerous current and former FBI and law enforcement officials continue to insist that the investigation into the Clinton Foundation is active and continuing.
Tom Fuentes is one of them. He tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD that he stands by his comments last week. Fuentes says the FBI's Clinton Foundation probe is "ongoing" and looking at Foundation activities in light of "the recent Wikileaks and Judicial Watch FOIA revelations, which require additional investigation."