White House spokesman Josh Earnest, in the grand tradition of press secretaries whose job is to make as little news as possible, often refuses to comment on “ongoing investigations” during his daily briefings.
However, Earnest was willing to buck this trend when he stated on Friday that Hillary Clinton would likely not be indicted over her private email scandal “based on what we know from the Department of Justice.”
“That will be a decision that is made by the Department of Justice and prosecutors over there,” Earnest said. “What I know that some officials over there have said is that she is not a target of the investigation, so that does not seem to be the direction that it’s trending. But I’m certainly not going to weigh in on a decision or in that process in any way. That is a decision to be made solely by independent prosecutors but again, based on what we know from the Department of Justice, it does not seem to be headed in that direction.”
Previously, such subjects as the El Chapo capture, refugee screening, the Flint water crisis, the CENTCOM hacking, the San Bernardino terrorist attack, and former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s troubles in Chicago were off-limits for Earnest, who cited ongoing investigations as the reason for his silence.
The Department of Justice and FBI were reportedly not pleased with Earnest’s meddling. Fox News correspondent Catherine Herridge reported that representatives at those agencies were “super pissed off” at the White House for weighing in on what should be a non-political investigation.
Clinton, Obama’s preferred candidate to win the Democratic nomination and succeed him in 2017, must be a special case.