Clinton interviewed by the FBI about private email server
WASHINGTON - The Associated Press
AP photoThe FBI interviewed Hillary Clinton on July 2 about her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, her campaign announced after the meeting, as federal investigators neared the end of the probe that has hung over her White House bid.
Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate, gave a voluntary interview for 3.5 hours at FBI headquarters in Washington, her campaign said.
“I’ve been eager to do it, and I was pleased to have the opportunity to assist the department in bringing its review to a conclusion,” Clinton said in describing the FBI session to NBC’s “Meet the Press” for an interview.
She agreed that the tone of the session was civil and business-like.
Clinton said she had no knowledge of any timeline for the review and would not comment on whether she was given an indication that charges would not be filed.
For Clinton, the interview indicates that the Justice Department’s yearlong probe is drawing to a close only four weeks before she is set to be formally nominated as the Democrats’ choice to succeed President Barack Obama.
Clinton’s FBI interview was expected, and it does not suggest that she or anyone else is likely to face prosecution. If Clinton and her aides are exonerated, it might help brush aside a major distraction throughout her campaign that has made many voters question her trustworthiness.
But as the past week shows, the case is complicated. Clinton sat down with the FBI just days after her husband, former President Bill Clinton, walked across a hot airport tarmac in Phoenix for an impromptu meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Lynch’s husband. The couple had just landed.
The nation’s top law enforcement official later expressed regret that she had met with the former president, whose plane was about to depart Phoenix, even though she said it was social in nature and they did not discuss the email review. Bill Clinton nominated Lynch as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York in 1999.
Lynch said on July 1 that she intended to accept the findings and recommendations of career prosecutors who have spent months investigating the case. As far as the meeting with Clinton, she said in hindsight that she would not do it again.
Donald Trump, the Republican Party candidate, has repeatedly said the email issue undermines Clinton’s fitness for office, and he suggested she will receive leniency from a Democratic administration. Trump has called his opponent “Crooked Hillary” and said she cannot be trusted in the White House.
Following reports of Clinton’s FBI interview, Trump tweeted: “It is impossible for the FBI not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton. What she did was wrong! What Bill did was stupid!”