The State Department is halting its internal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server to avoid interfering with an ongoing FBI probe, ABC News reported on Friday.
The move was in response to a formal directive from the FBI. A State Department spokesperson told ABC News that it is "standard practice" for agencies to defer to the FBI in such cases, and did not rule out reopening the internal review after law enforcement completes its investigation:
In January the department revealed that during its review of Clinton's 52,000 pages of private email it had come across 22 documents that had to be upgraded to "Top Secret" and totally withheld from public release. It said at the time that it would conduct a separate internal review to determine if the secret information in those emails had been mishandled at the time the emails were sent.
Today the State Department said it is deferring that judgment to the FBI, which is conducting a more comprehensive security review of Clinton's email. The outcome of that investigation is highly anticipated amid the 2016 election cycle. Clinton has said she is confident that will not happen and that she did not break any laws with her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.
The State Department’s decision comes on the heels of reports that the FBI investigation has progressed to the interview stage. The Los Angeles Times reported on Monday that federal prosecutors are preparing to interview Clinton’s top aides.
Four of Clinton’s closest advisers are being represented by the same attorney, Beth Wilkinson, Politico reported on Friday, a strategy that indicates they all plan to tell the same story to investigators.
Published under: Hillary Clinton