The panel on MSNBC’s Morning Joe said Tuesday that the FBI will likely start to interview people as the next step of the federal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, adding it will become more of a problem for her in a general election.
This discussion comes the day after the State Department finished releasing the last batch of the more than 50,000 pages of Clinton emails from her home-brewed server that the department was required to make available to the public.
In total, 2,115 of the emails have been deemed classified, 22 of which are considered “top secret” and could not be released to the public due to the sensitivity of the information they contain.
None of the emails were classified when they were originally sent or received.
“What happens here?” co-host Joe Scarborough asked the panel after the latest email release. “Are [Clinton] staff members going to have to get lawyered up? Is this looking more like Hillary Clinton may not get indicted, but some of her staff members may be under the gun?”
“I think the next step will probably be people being interviewed, and then you always have to worry about what you say, whether there is a possibility of perjury,” Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin said in response.
He added that prosecutors face two tough choices in an election year and can either “look political if they don’t pursue the investigation aggressively or political if they do.”
John Heilemann, who is also at Bloomberg, agreed with Halperin’s analysis, saying that the email issue will not go away for Clinton and may become more damaging if she becomes the Democratic presidential nominee.
“[The email issue] is going to continue to hover … a lot of establishment Democrats who were terrified last fall … that these issues could be a real problem for her in a general election, they got distracted by the [Sen.] Bernie Sanders threat … Now that it looks Hillary Clinton is in a position to be the presumptive Democratic nominee, that establishment will be happy that Bernie Sanders is gone, but it will now turn its attention back to another thing to worry about for Hillary Clinton, which is this,” he said.
The FBI has been investigating whether Clinton mishandled classified information over her private server while she served as secretary of state since at least August. The bureau has the ability to move forward with criminal charges if it so chooses.
While Sanders has avoided making Clinton’s emails an issue on the campaign trail, it is generally assumed that the Republican nominee will use the federal investigation as a prominent attack against the Democratic frontrunner.