FBI Interviews Clinton
Saturday morning, FBI agents interviewed Hillary Clinton for over three hours as part of their investigation into her usage of a private email account as Secretary of State. When asked if the interview was civil and businesslike, Clinton called it both. Her spokesperson Nick Merrill said “[Clinton] is pleased to have had the opportunity to assist the Department of Justice in bringing this review to a conclusion.”
This interview signals that the investigation is beginning to close as it was reserved for the end of the investigation. After hearing Clinton’s testimony, agents and prosecutors will compare her interview to interviews with aides and evidence gathered. Although Clinton may be found not guilty on the main charges, she could still be charged with making false statements in her interview.
Clinton has claimed from the beginning that she never used her personal email to receive or send classified information, unless that information was retroactively classified. The State Department’s inspector general released a report criticizing Clinton’s use of her private server without seeking legal approval. According to various sources, hundreds or thousands of the emails contained classified information. The emails were sent from the basement of her home from 2009 to 2013.
In a strange public misstep, Bill Clinton met privately with Attorney General Loretta Lynch Monday. An aide to Bill said the meeting was “entirely social in nature,” but the former president has said he regrets having the private meeting. Lynch said, “It’s important to make it clear that the meeting with President Clinton does not have a bearing on how this matter will be reviewed and resolved.” She also said, though, “I certainly wouldn’t do it again.”
There is no doubt this meeting caused concern and cast the Justice Department into questionable territory. The Clintons have been accused of bending politics to their will, and actions like this don’t help defend them. Conservative watchdog Judicial Watch released a statement saying:
Attorney General Lynch’s meeting with President Clinton creates the appearance of a violation of law, ethical standards and good judgment. Attorney General Lynch’s decision to breach the well-defined ethical standards of the Department of Justice and the American legal profession is an outrageous abuse of the public’s trust.
Trump tweeted on the incident, too. “Take a look at what happened w/ Bill Clinton. The system is totally rigged. Does anybody really believe that meeting was just a coincidence?” He also wrote, “Does anybody really believe that Bill Clinton and the U.S.A.G. talked only about “grandkids” and golf for 37 minutes in a plane on tarmac?”
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus released a statement that said the meeting “raises serious concerns about special treatment.” He wrote, “Hillary Clinton has just taken the unprecedented step of becoming the first major party presidential candidate to be interviewed by the FBI as part of a criminal investigation surrounding her reckless conduct. We must ask ourselves if this is the kind of leadership we want in the White House.”
The Clintons are low on trustworthiness and character ratings already. The email probe and Lynch meeting certainly didn’t help with the election approaching. A Quinnipiac University poll found voters considered Trump more honest and trustworthy than Clinton 45 percent to 37 percent. With both presidential candidates at less than fifty percent on trustworthiness, either way, we’re going to end up with a president the majority of Americans don’t trust.