I’ve been wondering for a while now whether anyone was going to get around to asking Barack Obama what we should expect if James Comey turns over a recommendation to the Department of Justice that Hillary Clinton be brought up on charges. The subject has been danced around on many occasions, but the one thing which I’ve never come across is a journalist asking if there have already been conversations between the White House and Loretta Lynch along those lines. This morning on Fox News we didn’t get precisely that conversation, but it came very, very close. For only the second time in longer than I care to remember, the President sat down with Chris Wallace and covered three subjects, one of which being the aforementioned situation with Clinton’s bathroom email server. (Fox News)
President Obama repeatedly vowed there would be no political influence over the Justice Department’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state — in a wide-ranging interview with “Fox News Sunday” in which he also ardently defended his efforts to defeat the Islamic State and other terror groups amid criticism about his perceived indifference.
“I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department, or the FBI, not just in this case, but in any case,” Obama told “Fox News Sunday.” “Nobody is above the law. How many times do I have to say it?”
His remarks came less than three months after White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest publicly downplayed a possible indictment for Clinton.
The excerpts which were initially provided didn’t go into enough detail and even the snippets in their own coverage didn’t hit the meat of what I was looking for, but Wallace did broach the subject in the most specific way yet. You need to watch the whole interview (below) to get to it, but the section on Clinton kicks off roughly eight minutes in.
This comes right after the ten minute mark in the video.
Barack Obama: “I do not talk to the Attorney General about pending investigations. I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. We have a strict line and always have maintained it.
Chris Wallace: So just to button this up…
Barack Obama: I guarantee it. I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department or the FBI, not just in this case, but in any case. Full stop. Period.
Chris Wallace: And she will be treated no differently…
Barack Obama: Full stop. Nobody gets treated differently when it comes to the Justice Department because nobody is above the law.
I’m not saying I don’t believe him, but… okay. I’m pretty much saying I don’t believe him. But since I can’t prove it, take the interview as you see fit. These claims also indicate that there was never any discussion between Obama and Lynch (directly or through aides and surrogates) prior to the DoJ decision to flush the embezzlement case against Huma Abedin. Given the, shall we say, delicate nature of that episode, I’m rather skeptical of the idea that Barack Obama would be left entirely in the dark or that he would want to be.
As to the Clinton email question, if the facts turn out differently in the fullness of time, we at least have this one interview on record. The wording is clear enough, though he never actually says, “I have never spoken to anyone about it.” He does say that he does not talk to anyone in the DoJ or the FBI and it’s a strict line that has always been maintained. He’s on the record for that now. And by saying, “we have a strict line..” it’s easy enough to write this one in stone as a claim that he hasn’t had anyone else speaking to them on his behalf or relaying information.
Will we ever know if that’s not the case? The only person I can think of who might eventually talk would be Comey himself, but he’s really not on the inside of the Attorney General’s deliberations. It may be a mystery for the ages which only our grandchildren will find out about.