WASHINGTON: Hillary Clinton's former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and two other staff members were granted immunity deals in exchange for their cooperation in the now-closed FBI investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state, says a Republican congressman.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told the Associated Press today that Mills gave federal investigators access to her laptop on the condition that findings couldn't be used against her.
Democrats on the committee said today the immunity agreements were limited in scope and did not cover statements made to investigators or to potential testimony before Congress.
Still, Chaffetz said he was "absolutely stunned" that the FBI would cut a deal with someone as close to the investigation as Mills.
"No wonder they couldn't prosecute a case," said Chaffetz, R-Utah. "They were handing out immunity deals like candy."
Copies of the immunity agreements were provided to the House oversight committee by the Justice Department this week under seal.
A yearlong investigation by the FBI focused on whether the Democratic presidential nominee sent or received classified information using the private server located in the basement of her New York home, which was not authorized for such messages.
FBI Director James Comey said in July that his agents hadn't found evidence to support any criminal charge or direct evidence that Clinton's private server had been hacked. He suggested that hackers working for a foreign government may have been so sophisticated they wouldn't have left behind any evidence of a break-in.
Chaffetz said in addition to Mills, others granted immunity include John Bentel, then-director of the State Department's Office of Information Resources Management, and Heather Samuelson, Clinton's executive assistant.
The revelation brings the total number of people who were granted immunity as part of the FBI's investigation to at least five.
It had previously been reported immunity had been granted to Bryan Pagliano, a tech expert who set up Clinton's email server, as well as Paul Combetta, a computer specialist for a private firm that later maintained Clinton's email setup.
Chaffetz said he is looking forward to asking Comey questions about the immunity deals when Comey testifies Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee. Chaffetz is also a member of that panel.