Slipping into the news like the Easter bunny delivering eggs and chocolate is a Los Angeles Times report suggesting Hillary Clinton is going to be talked to by the FBI. Agents are also looking to talk to some of her longtime aides.
No dates have been set for questioning the advisors, but a federal prosecutor in recent weeks has called their lawyers to alert them that he would soon be doing so, the sources said. Prosecutors also are expected to seek an interview with Clinton herself, though the timing remains unclear.
The interviews by FBI agents and prosecutors will play a significant role in helping them better understand whether Clinton or her aides knowingly or negligently discussed classified government secrets over a non-secure email system when she served as secretary of State.
At least one person tells Los Angeles Times the Clintonemail probe is almost done.
“The interviews are critical to understand the volume of information they have accumulated,” said James McJunkin, former head of the FBI’s Washington field office. “They are likely nearing the end of the investigation and the agents need to interview these people to put the information in context. They will then spend time aligning these statements with other information, emails, classified documents, etc., to determine whether there is a prosecutable case.”
This could play out one of three ways because the FBI could decide to pursue charges against Clinton, ignore Clinton and focus on an aide or two, or just decide to exonerate everyone. LA Times seems to think Clinton is going to skate based on comments from American University law professor Stephen Vladeck who thinks the law doesn’t match up with the facts of the case. But Judge Andrew Napolitano doesn’t think so, telling Fox News back in January he expected the FBI to ask for an indictment.
[Napolitano] said that the alleged crime would be negligence and failure by Mrs. Clinton “to protect national security secrets.”
“The evidence of that is overwhelming. What’s new … is that she failed to protect information of the highest possible category,” said Napolitano.
He explained that Clinton, like former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus, signed a non-disclosure agreement as Secretary of State promising to protect the intelligence of Special Access Programs.
“The fact that she failed to safeguard that [intelligence]. That she put it on a non-secured, non-government server after she swore an oath – the same oath General Petraeus did – to secure it, makes her a prime candidate for prosecution,” he explained.
But does this actually mean anything from a political standpoint? It might, given the fact Bernie Sanders was able to sweep all three Democratic primaries and caucuses on Saturday. It means Clinton has a less than 300 pledged delegate vote lead, even though she’s got the superdelegates in the bag. It could be Democrats are worried about Clintonemail, but it’s also possible they’re just looking to stick it to the party itself (just as Donald Trump’s supporters seem wont to do with the GOP). There’s also the fact there’s no guarantee Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. If Sanders is able to close the gap even further (or take the lead), will more superdelegates start to defect to Sanders’ camp? Clinton probably has New York almost delivered, but California polls have her only with a seven point lead and Wisconsin with a six point lead (depending on the poll). It’s completely possible the Democratic nomination may take much longer than the GOP one (and wouldn’t it be interesting if Clinton had to go to President Barack Obama for help). The grandeur of Trump has all eyes on the GOP (for better or for worse), but the specter of Sanders has Clinton in a bind. An interview with the FBI might put her in even more of one, IF it becomes an issue during the general election campaign. Will the American people be willing to go for a candidate who is under indictment because she’s “the devil they know” versus the devil they don’t know? Time will tell, but it just depends on whether the public actually cares about Clintonemail, or if it’s something only those who are politically active care about.