Two lawyers familiar with the inquiry told NPR that a formal criminal investigation is under consideration and could happen soon — although they caution that Clinton herself may not be the target.
The Clinton campaign maintains that Clinton did nothing wrong, that the government inquiry would not move beyond a “security-related review” and points a finger at a “culture of classification” within the intelligence community.
“She was at worst a passive recipient of unwitting information that subsequently became deemed as classified,” said Brian Fallon, Clinton campaign press secretary, in a conference call Wednesday with reporters, per NPR’s Tamara Keith. “When it comes to classified information, the standards are not at all black and white, and in the absence of markings that officially designate something classified, reasonable people each taking their responsibilities extremely seriously, can nonetheless disagree on the character of the information they are dealing with — and both could be completely justified in that perspective.
“And that is why we are so confident that this review will remain a security-related review. We think that furthermore this matter is mostly just shining a spotlight on a culture of classification that exists within certain corners of the government, especially the intelligence community.”