A longtime legal adviser to Hillary and Bill Clinton has been allegedly telling the former secretary of state to hire a criminal defense lawyer as the FBI investigates her personal email server, but the presidential candidate has balked at his recommendations.
During an interview with the New York Post, the anonymous adviser admitted his frustration regarding the Clinton campaign’s resistance to his advice.
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"By joking about her email problem and treating it like a PR issue, she’s only hurting herself, maybe mortally, with the prosecutors," he said. "Insulting career FBI and Justice Department investigators is a very bad and ill-advised strategy."
He characterized the email controversy as a "cancer on her candidacy."
The adviser said that he has spoken to Hillary and Bill Clinton about the email probe and that the former secretary of state brought up the case of former CIA Director David Petraeus when explaining why she cannot admit to even "minor wrongdoing."
"Petraeus wasn’t running for president when he cut a deal with the prosecutors. If I admit any kind of guilt–even to a minor wrongdoing–it will sink my chances of winning the nomination," the adviser recalled Hillary as saying.
While he said that Bill has been taking the situation "seriously," Hillary has continued to treat it as "political smear job by right-wing zealots."
"Hillary needs to secure the services of an expert legal counsel–preferably a big-league defense attorney from the Republican side of the aisle," he said. "She needs someone to find out whether the FBI and Justice Department are likely to conclude that she’s violated federal laws governing national security."
He said that the FBI investigation could be concluded as early as the end of 2015.
"Hopefully, the FBI will determine Hillary’s behavior does not amount to a criminal matter, and that she hasn’t violated the letter of the law with security breaches. I hope that will be the outcome," the legal adviser stated.
"But from what I know of the case, Hillary is extremely vulnerable. There is going to be blood in the water. The investigators are looking for weak links to get to the bottom of what went on with Hillary’s national security emails. And I’m afraid they will find it."
The FBI has been investigating Clinton’s personal email system since the inspector general of the intelligence community determined that at least two of the messages held on her server were top secret at the time they were sent.
However, Clinton has insisted that she never sent nor received information marked classified on her personal email.