Hillary Clinton email scandal is a ‘criminal investigation,’ says White House, she says ‘there is no basis for it’
White House has confirmed that the Justice Department is conducting a “criminal investigation” regarding Hillary Clinton’s personal email use, manipulation and storage of classified information.
Press Secretary Josh Earnest used the term at Thursday’s briefing, after being asked by Fox News about whether President Obama’s newly unveiled endorsement of Clinton might apply pressure to investigators assigned to the Clinton case.
Earnest rejected the premise, saying the job of career prosecutors is to follow the evidence to its logical conclusion.
“That’s why the president, when discussing this issue in each stage, has reiterated his commitment to this principle that any criminal investigation should be conducted independent of any sort of political interference,” Earnest said.
Hillary Clinton said there is “absolutely” no chance the ongoing FBI investigation over her use of a private email server will hurt her presidential bid.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee doubled down on claims that the investigation will not result in an indictment.
“That is not going to happen,” Clinton said in an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier on Wednesday. “There is no basis for it, and I’m looking forward to this being wrapped up as soon as possible.”
Clinton defended her decision not to speak with the State Department’s inspector general, who last month released a report on her use of a private email account.
“What they wanted to ask we’d already talked about – talked about in the public arena,” she said, referencing her October testimony to the House committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
“The White House’s admission that the FBI is investigating Hillary Clinton’s email server as a ‘criminal’ matter shreds her dishonest claim that it is a routine ‘security inquiry,’” RNC spokesman Michael Short said in a statement.
Hillary’s campaign website still asserts there is no criminal investigation.
On a campaign ‘factsheet’ about the email controversy, the website includes this Q&A:
“Is Department of Justice conducting a criminal inquiry into Clinton’s email use?
No. As the Department of Justice and Inspectors General made clear, the IGs made a security referral. This was not criminal in nature as misreported by some in the press. The Department of Justice is now seeking assurances about the storage of materials related to Clinton’s email account.”