Legally speaking, the FBI is supposed to inform not only the Obama Administration, but also both House and Senate intelligence communities of any investigation with national security implications. Both committees’ leadership have questioned why this wasn’t done in the investigation related to deposed CIA chief David Petraeus as soon as it was discovered that classified data had been compromised.
President Obama is taking a remarkably different tack, insisting that not only is he fine with the FBI keeping the probe from him, but insisting that it was common practice because he doesn’t want to be accused of “meddling” in investigations.
Obama went on to say that he personally hasn’t seen any evidence suggesting that the classified data had any impact on national security, but since he seemed to be going out of his way to avoid details on the case, that seems far from the final word on the matter.
Indeed, Obama’s comments may bring up even bigger concerns, as his comments suggest the White House is giving the FBI complete autonomy on all investigations over concerns that it would be “meddling” to even keep tabs on what they are up to at any given time. Giving the FBI’s sordid past and tendency to investigate virtually everyone as “threats,” this lack of oversight is particularly disturbing.