OOPS: White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that President Obama will not interfere with ‘any criminal investigation’ like the one Hillary Clinton is facing over the classified documents on her private emails – an hour later, Obama announced he was endorsing her.
‘That’s what their responsibility is,’ Earnest said. ‘And that’s why the president, when discussing this issue in each stage, has reiterated his commitment to this principle that any criminal investigation should be conducted independent of any sort of political interference.’
Of course Republicans and social media jumped on the statement Earnest made inferring that Hillary was under a ‘criminal investigation’ for not only using a personal email server, but for deleting top secret emails and lying about it.
An hour later, Obama announced that he was endorsing Hillary for president.
Daily Mail reported that a search Thursday through White House briefing transcripts for similar acknowledgements turned up none.
Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Short crowed to reporters that ‘the White House’s admission that the FBI is investigating Hillary Clinton’s email server as a “criminal” matter shreds her dishonest claim that it is a routine “security inquiry”.’
‘This is another reminder of her reckless conduct as Obama’s secretary of state, where her attempt to skirt government transparency laws exposed highly classified information and put our national security at risk.’
Obama gave Clinton his official nod Thursday in a video message, saying: ‘I know how hard this job can be. That’s why I know Hillary will be so good at it. In fact, I don’t think there’s ever been someone so qualified to hold this office.’
In the press briefing that followed, a Fox News Channel reporter challenged Earnest on the question of whether civil servants in the U.S. Department of Justice might see the presidential endorsement as a signal that it was time to wrap up their investigations.
Clinton has been dogged for more than a year by charges that she exposed state secrets to hackers and foreign governments by keeping all her email correspondence on a private homebrew server while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.
Depending on evidentiary nuances, that could violate the U.S. Espionage Act and subject Clinton to 10 years in prison, even if she put classified documents in an ‘unsecured’ location through simple negligence.
Clinton said Wednesday that she ‘absolutely’ will not face a criminal indictment.
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