This time, Hillary might not be able to escape her criminal tendencies. See why prosecutors think espionage is on the table.
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.
The threat of political pain even with no indictment was underscored as dozens of Republicans lawmakers pressed Attorney General Loretta Lynch to appoint a special prosecutor far removed from the White House to determine if any laws have been broken.
But Lynch has resisted those demands even after Barack Obama said Clinton did not endanger national security, after the president and vice president endorsed her, and after Lynch met privately with Clinton’s husband this week.
The year-long investigation is expected to conclude in the coming weeks, though it could take longer, leaving open the probability it will cast a shadow over Clinton as she accepts the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in Philadelphia this month and launches her general election campaign against Republican Donald Trump.
At least 2,079 emails that Clinton sent or received contained classified material, according to a State Department review of emails Clinton turned over after she left the department. Most were at the confidential level, which is the lowest level of classification, but a handful were at the top secret level.
A report by the State Department inspector general determined that her email arrangement violated State Department rules, that she did not seek permission for the setup and that her was shut down at least once because of fears it had been hacked.
Clinton failed to hand over all her work emails, despite being asked to do so repeatedly. She said she is unable to access emails she sent or received in her first two months as secretary of state because her emails were not yet being captured on her server. And in recent weeks,several new batches of emails have come to light that she did not turn over.
Legal experts say investigators could be looking into potential violations of Section 1924 of Title 18, which deals with the unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material, or even the Espionage Act, which makes it a crime for anyone “through gross negligence,” to allow the loss, theft or removal of classified information or fails to promptly report such mishandling to his superior.
Abbe Lowell, a defense attorney who has represented a slew of public officials, including governors and members of Congress, said cases like this are conducted by line agents and prosecutors who he said are as “independent and zealous as they can be.”
“This is a big case for them,” he said. “If a political appointee quashed it, there would be hell to pay.”
Former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to meet Saturday with the FBI, a source close to the investigation into her private email server tells The Daily Caller.
The source went on to suggest the interview may take place at her Washington, D.C. home.
The bureau’s interview with the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is believed to be the final step in its investigation into the potential mishandling of classified information on Clinton’s private email server.
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.
FBI investigators have already interviewed several Clinton aides, including her former chief of staff Cheryl Mills and her deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin. Investigators have also interviewed Bryan Pagliano, the former State Department information technology specialist who maintained Clinton’s server. The Justice Department gave Pagliano limited immunity in exchange for his cooperation in the probe.
Scheduling the meeting on a holiday weekend will likely help with logistical issues for both the FBI and the Clinton campaign.
Clinton has no campaign events listed on her schedule which means that she will not be tailed by the usual pack of campaign reporters. The FBI has sought to avoid drawing attention to its probe by bringing in witnesses in secret. That strategy has been successful, as reports of the meetings have only come out after they were held.
Past interviews with Clinton probe witnesses have reportedly been conducted by FBI agents, lawyers with the Justice Department’s National Security division and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, Va.
The politician has not been asked in several weeks whether she had scheduled an interview with the government. Her last comments on the matter came in late May. She said then that her legal team had been in contact with the Justice Department but that “we do not have an interview scheduled.”
The meeting comes in the midst of a controversy involving another meeting — this one a secret conclave between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton. The pair met on Lynch’s airplane on the tarmac of Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport on Monday.