Hillary Clinton’s email scandal will likely be looming over the Democratic presidential candidate throughout the rest of the primary season as federal prosecutors have just begun contacting the lawyers of her top aides in order to set up formal interviews.
The Los Angeles Times, which reported the pending interviews, didn’t name which aides would be called in for questioning by FBI agents and prosecutors, but contacted Philippe Reines, Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan and Cheryl Mills, who all worked closely with Clinton during her time as secretary of the state.
None of the lawyers for the foursome would speak on the record about the investigation.
Prosecutors are also expected to bring Clinton in for an interview, but the newspaper had no information about timing.
Another aide, IT staffer Bryan Pagliano, was granted immunity by federal prosecutors and provided security logs for Clinton’s server that revealed no evidence of foreign hacking, the paper reported.
‘The interviews are critical to understand the volume of information they have accumulated,’ James McJunkin, the former head of the FBI’s Washington field office, told the Los Angeles times.
‘They are likely nearing the end of the investigation and the agents need to interview these people to put the information in context,’ he continued.
‘They will then spend time aligning these statements with other information, emails, classified documents, etc., to determine whether there is a prosecutable case.’
The Justice Department and the FBI opened up their investigation in July upon receiving a security referral from the inspector general of the intelligence community, who concluded at the time that Clinton had sent emails deemed ‘secret,’ the highest level of classification, through her personal email system.
The inspector general’s office was leafing through the 30,500 emails Clinton had turned over from her homebrew server that she said were work-related.
‘None of the emails we reviewed has classification or dissemination markings, but some included [intelligence community]-derived classified information and should have been handled as classified appropriately marked, and transmitted via a secure network,’ Inspector General I. Charles McCollough wrote Congress in a letter at the start of the investigation.
Previously, the inspector general and the State Department were shown to be in a dispute over whether these correspondences should be considered classified.