Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said this week that the FBI would like to indict Hillary Clinton and her top aide Huma Abedin for using an unsecured personal email server to conduct State Department business.
“I think the FBI director would like to indict both Huma and Hillary as we speak,” Issa told the Washington Examiner during an interview in New Hampshire Thursday.
Issa, who serves on the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees and previously chaired the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, further said he thinks FBI Director James Comey is “in a position where he’s being forced to triple-time make a case of what would otherwise be what they call a slam dunk.”
Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee in December that the FBI was committed to conducting an “independent” probe of Clinton’s emails regardless of her standing in the 2016 presidential election. The FBI has been probing the former secretary of state’s email setup since the intelligence community inspector general determined last summer that at least two of her emails contained top secret information at the time they were sent or received.
“As I’ve said many times, we don’t give a rip about politics. … We care about finding out what is true and doing that in a competent, honest and independent way. I promise you that’s the way we conduct ourselves,” Comey said last month.
Clinton’s email system contained several dozen classified emails, including some that held intelligence from the government’s most secret programs, according to a recent intelligence review. Despite the fact that about 1,340 emails on Clinton’s server have been deemed classified during the State Department’s vetting process before releasing them, the Democratic presidential candidate has insisted that the messages were not classified when they were sent or received.
“You can’t have 1,300 highly sensitive emails that contain highly sensitive material that’s taken all, or in part from classified documents, and have it be an accident,” Issa said Thursday. “There’s no question, she knew she had a responsibility and she circumvented it. And she circumvented it a second time when she knowingly let highly-classified material get onto emails in an unclassified format.”
Clinton has maintained that she did nothing wrong even as a chain of emails recently released by the State Department showed that she instructed an aide to send her information using “nonsecure” channels.
If the FBI ultimately recommends an indictment, it will fall in the hands of the Justice Department to prosecute. Issa surmised that President Obama’s attorney general would not decide to prosecute Clinton leading up to the election.
“I’ve worked with both the last attorney general … and this attorney general, and I really don’t believe they’ll do it,” Issa stated. “Doing it, by definition, would end her run for president.”
Earlier this month, a report in Fox News indicated that the FBI had expanded its investigation into Clinton’s emails, looking at possible violations of public corruption laws.