On Saturday morning, the FBI spent over three hours interviewing presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. USA Today reported that the interview took place at the FBI headquarters in Washington. Purportedly, the FBI interview is expected to be a precursor to an indictment and probe into Clinton’s private email servers. The investigation is one that many members of the civilian public have been waiting for, in large part because of the tragedy that took place in Benghazi.
Hillary Clinton left office as Secretary of State in early 2013. During her time as Secretary of State she used a private email and had a private server that was hosted at her home in New York. The use of this private server and private email are inconsistent with the policies that govern federal agencies.
As of now, Hillary Clinton is the expected nominee for the Democratic ticket in the 2016 presidential election. Though Clinton asserts that the system was “absolutely permitted,” an independent State Department Inspector General report from May of 2016 says quite the opposite and states that the use of the private server was not appropriate, mainly because it failed to comply with the Federal Records Act and was also vulnerable to hackers.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, private interest groups made it a point to sue for the emails. Not only that, but congressional committees pushed for answers to scathing questions concerning the use of a private email and a private server. The case took a momentous turn when it was handed over to the FBI in 2015.
Now that the case is in the hands of FBI agents, it is presumed that the bureau will take all the classified information into consideration and determine whether or not Clinton committed a crime by handling things in such a manner.
Not surprisingly, this controversy and apparent scandal has been a thorn in the side of the Clinton campaign and has continued to draw headlines week after week. Former president Bill Clinton also met with the United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch in Arizona, a meeting that quickly put Lynch on the defensive with reporters and has since drawn quite a bit of negative attention. Many people assert that the Clintons are trying to buy Hillary’s way out of being held accountable for her actions.
As a result of the negative attention associated with the impromptu meeting with Loretta Lynch, Lynch seems to be taking a backseat in recent days. FBI agents are expected to wrap up their investigation in coming weeks and will likely compare their interview with Hillary Clinton to other details of the case.
The investigation will be the deciding factor in whether or not Hillary Clinton is cited in a formal indictment. On Friday, Loretta Lynch pledged to support the FBI’s decision. The main question the FBI seeks to answer is whether or not Clinton’s conduct was in breach of the legal standards for handling classified information.
Obviously, a formal federal indictment would create major shock waves on the campaign trail. The indictment wouldn’t specifically disqualify Hillary from running, nor would it disqualify her from obtaining her party’s nomination or even winning the election. However, she would likely face insurmountable pressure to step aside regardless of whether or not the indictment came before or after the Democratic Party nomination in July.
If an indictment were to take place prior to the convention, and Hillary Clinton were to withdraw from the election, it could result in a scenario where delegates switch affiliations. However, it wouldn’t necessarily mean that Bernie Sanders would receive the nomination. In fact, it could be another Democrat who is in the race, or even a new contender.
If an indictment took place after the convention, it’s possible that Clinton’s vice presidential pick could pick up the mantle and continue on. It’s also speculated that, if the FBI recommends an indictment against Clinton, Loretta Lynch will likely request a special prosecutor for the case.
Even if Clinton doesn’t face an indictment, the investigation will continue to haunt her throughout election season and into her future. If Clinton herself doesn’t face indictment, it’s still possible that her top aides and campaign confidants could still be charged. It is also possible that even if the FBI recommends an indictment, Lynch may decline to charge Clinton or to significantly reduce the charges, despite her public assurances to the alternative. In such a scenario, some very high-profile resignations would be expected, resulting from the political turmoil that would result from such an outcome.
No matter how it’s sliced, Hillary Clinton will most assuredly have a battle on her hands as she moves toward the election. Whether you love her or hate her, you’ll find the story here. Stay tuned to the Inquisitr as we continue to report on the FBI’s investigation in the coming weeks.
[Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]