In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s interview with the FBI at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Saturday, CNN reports from unnamed sources that “within the next two weeks or so, the expectation is there will be an announcement of no charges being brought against Clinton” so long as no evidence of wrongdoing emerges from her interview with the FBI.
“CNN has previously reported no charges were expected to be brought against Clinton,” noted CNN, “because the investigators had not found evidence to warrant charges, according to multiple law enforcement officials. A Democrat close to Clinton said Saturday the campaign believes the FBI will announce its decision before the conventions. … Sources familiar with the investigation had previously told CNN the Justice Department’s aim was to wrap up before the Republican and Democratic conventions later this month. The timing is crucial, because if Clinton were to be indicted before the convention, Democrats could perhaps nominate another candidate.”
Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill confirmed the three and a half hour interview was voluntary. “Secretary Clinton gave a voluntary interview this morning about her email arrangements while she was secretary,” he said in a statement.
Clinton told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Saturday evening the interview was something “I had been eager to do.”
CNN’s senior producer Edward Mejia Davis posted a tweet which contained a question to Clinton from MSNBC’s Chuck Todd: “There are news reports out there that indicate that no charges may be brought against you. Were you given that indication today that no charges will be filed? Are you confident that no charges will be filed?”
Clinton replied, “I am not going to comment on the process. I have no knowledge of any timelines. This is entirely up to the department.”
The subject of the grilling hasn’t been released, but is presumed to involve issues regarding her private email server. It’s the latest development in the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s reported mishandling of classified information.
The Daily Caller notes hundreds of now-classified documents – some of them “Top Secret” – were sent and received through Clinton’s private server, which she housed at her New York residence during her tenure at the State Department.
“She is pleased to have had the opportunity to assist the Department of Justice in bringing this review to a conclusion,” spokesman Merrill said. “Out of respect for the investigative process, she will not comment further on her interview.”
The FBI and Justice Department also declined to comment about the meeting.
The interview was another step in the FBI’s ongoing investigation of the presumptive Democratic nominee for president regarding how Clinton and her aides handled classified information when she was secretary of state. ABC News reports the Justice Department’s goal is to complete the investigation and make recommendations on whether charges should be filed before the two major party conventions take place toward the latter half of July. Officials want ample time to review Clinton’s interview and compare it to everything they have discovered in the months-long investigations.
FBI investigators have already questioned several Clinton aides, including former chief of staff Cheryl Mills and deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin. Agents also spoke with Bryan Pagliano, a former State Department information technology specialist who handled Clinton’s server.
The meeting comes only days after Attorney general Loretta Lynch met in secret with former President Bill Clinton on the tarmac of the Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona.
As WND reported, Washington watchdog Judicial Watch is now asking the Department of Justice inspector general to investigate what was said at the off-the-record meeting between Lynch and the former president.
“Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s meeting with Bill Clinton severely undermined the already low public confidence in her agency’s criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “In addition to this IG investigation, Judicial Watch has already sent Freedom of Information Act requests about this scandalous meeting.”
The FBI interview may indicate the yearlong probe by the Justice Department is in its concluding stages. While the investigation was expected, it has been suggested by some legal experts that criminal prosecution is unlikely. The ongoing issue has caused many voters to question Clinton’s trustworthiness in the weeks leading up to Democratic National Convention, where she is set to become the formal Democratic presidential nominee.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement on Saturday that the FBI interview reinforces Clinton’s “central role in deliberately creating a culture which put her own political ambitions above State Department rules and jeopardized our national security.”
While Clinton’s Twitter account was conspicuously silent on the subject of the FBI investigation, Trump kept the issue at the forefront for his followers.
“It is impossible for the FBI not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton. What she did was wrong! What Bill did was stupid!” he tweeted.
Shortly thereafter, Trump sent out a tweet stating, “It was just announced-by sources-that no charges will be brought against Crooked Hillary Clinton. Like I said, the system is totally rigged!”
McClatchy DC reported, “However it is concluded, events this week underscored anew that Clinton is likely to emerge scarred. A new controversy over the Obama administration’s handling of the case and Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s refusal to hand it over to a special prosecutor far removed from the White House served as a reminder that critics would always say that political favoritism toward Clinton tainted any decision to clear her.”
McClatchy added, “No matter how the FBI investigation into the handling of sensitive information on Hillary Clinton’s personal computer server ends, it likely will hurt her presidential bid. … If she is indicted, she will face further questions about her honesty and perhaps even calls for her to step aside. If she isn’t indicted, as many legal experts predict, critics will accuse the Obama administration of letting her escape charges merely because they want her to win the White House.”