The claim was made by Texas GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert, who has put forward complex conspiracy theories, as well as by an anonymous former intelligence official who spoke to theDaily Caller, which reported the story.
According to the report, two officials with the inspector general for the Intelligence Committee, identified as investigator Frank Rucker and lawyer Janette McMillan, warned FBI officials about the Chinese intrusion, to no avail.
A former member of the IG’s office told the publication: ‘When [the ICIG] did a very deep dive, they found in the actual metadata — the data which is at the header and footer of all the emails — that a copy, a ‘courtesy copy,’ was being sent to a third party and that third party was a known Chinese public company that was involved in collecting intelligence for China.’
‘The [the ICIG] believe that there was some level of phishing,’ the source said, according to the report. ‘But once they got into the server something was embedded,’ he said. ‘The Chinese are notorious for embedding little surprises like this.’
But the official failed to identify the company, which would provide one way to verify the authenticity of the claim. ”We do know the name of the company. There are indications there are other ‘cutouts’ that were involved,’ the official said. ‘I would be in a lot of trouble if I gave you the name,’ the person said.
At a public hearing in July, Gohmert grilled former FBI official Peter Strzok on why he wasn’t able to recall more about a meeting with the IG and other officials about ‘ an anomoly they had found on Hillary Clinton’s emails that were going to and from the private unauthorized server that you were supposed to be investigating.’
Strzok remember the meeting, but little more, prompting Gohmert to express astonishment why he didn’t know about each Clinton email going to an ‘unauthorized source’ that he said was a ‘foreign entity unrelated to Russia.’
Former Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill trashed the report as well as the publication when it sought comment.
‘This is the most combed over subject in modern American political history,’ Merrill said. ‘The FBI spent thousands of hours investigating, and found no evidence of intrusion. That’s a fact.’
Gohmert has also made claims about the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrating the U.S. and the Russians tipping the election to Harry Truman in 1948.
He drew media ridicule for holding up a chart last year at a House Judiciary Committee hearing that connected Justice Department officials, a Uranium company, former attorney general Eric Holder, Benghazi, political intelligence firm Fusion GPS, Clinton’s secret server, Bill Clinton, the IRS targeting scandal, and other topics.