White House: Yup, Hillary email probe is 'criminal investigation'

The idea that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is merely conducting a “security review” of Hillary Clinton’s use of an unsecured, private, non-governmental email server has been one of the most transparently absurd talking points from the former Secretary of State’s campaign over the past several months.

She floated it in February when pressed by CNBC over the news that the FBI was conducting an investigation and a criminal indictment could be imminent:

John Harwood: Let me ask about quickly about e-mail. Your Republican opponents have openly begun to suggest that you could be prosecuted, you could go to jail as a result of this issue. When the average person out there hears there’s an FBI investigation and some guy who worked for her has gotten immunity from prosecution, shouldn’t they be tempted to conclude like, well, maybe she could get prosecuted?

Hillary Clinton: No, not at all. This is the same security review that has been going on since last Spring. I’m happy that everybody now has been cooperating and giving information because I think that will finally end this and show that only appropriate steps were taken. So I know that the Republicans are engaging in a lot of wishful thinking, but this is not anything people should be worried about.

Since those laughable comments made news, none other than the director of the FBI, James Comey, has refuted Clinton’s spin and confirmed that the FBI does not conduct “security reviews” they conduct criminal investigations.

But, that hasn’t stopped Clinton from deceiving the American public on the matter. As of this writing, her website still refers to the FBI investigation as a “security referral”:

Hillary security review

But, the problem with a lie like this is you have to have everybody on board to support your version of events. It’s kind of hard to have all the people lined up to support you twist their tongue into such contortions that they don’t use the natural, obvious and truthful description of the investigation and refer to it as exactly what it is: A criminal investigation.

Such was the case yesterday in the White House briefing room when Josh Earnest was engaged in a back-and-forth with James Rosen of Fox News. Rosen asked the Obama spokesman if the President’s highly-publicized yet universally-expected endorsement of Clinton would send a message to Justice Department officials to lay-off any thought of an indictment.

Clearly not expecting any sort of challenge from the lap dogs in the White House press corps, Earnest let the truth slip out:


“No. I think those career prosecutors understand that they have job to do, and that that job they are supposed to do — which is to follow the facts, to pursue the evidence to a logical conclusion — that’s a job that they are responsible for doing without any sort of political interference. And the president expects them to do that job, this is the reason that we actually ask career federal prosecutors to take the lead on these kinds of matters. They don’t have political jobs. They have career jobs as law enforcement officers and as prosecutors and investigators. That’s what their responsibility is. And that’s why the President when discussing this issue in each stage has reiterated his commitment to this principle that any criminal investigation should be conducted independent of any sort of political interference and that people should be treated the same way before the law regardless of their political influence, regardless of their political party, regardless of their political stature and regardless of what political figure has endorsed them.”

Oops! Maybe Josh Earnest didn’t get the memo on this one. Or, maybe the memo was sent via email and then got deleted, along with all those emails about wedding plans and yoga classes.


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John Sexton 1:00 PM on December 05, 2022