The FBI has interviewed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton about her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state. “Secretary Clinton gave a voluntary interview this morning (Saturday) about her email arrangements while she was secretary,” Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said in a statement. “She is pleased to have had the opportunity to assist the Department of Justice in bringing this review to a conclusion. Out of respect for the investigative process, she will not comment further on her interview,” Merrill added.
Her interview with the FBI, which lasted three and a half hours in Washington, could intensify anxiety among Democrats that she might be indicted before the November elections. “Timing of FBI interview, between primaries and convention, probably good timing for @HillaryClinton,” tweeted David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama who worked as the chief strategist for his two presidential campaigns. “Best to get it behind her.”
Clinton is expected to be formally nominated as the party’s presidential candidate during the Democratic National Convention in the following weeks. However, her use of a personal email to conduct State Department business has negatively affected her campaign, with her Republican rival Donald Trump saying that she should face “criminal charges.” “It is impossible for the FBI not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton. What she did was wrong! What Bill did was stupid!” Trump tweeted.
Trump was referring to a private meeting between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton ahead of his wife’s interview with the FBI. On Friday, Lynch acknowledged that her meeting with Clinton’s husband was a mistake that had cast a shadow over the email investigation. Clinton has already apologized for using a private email account and server from 2009 to 2013, but her critics argue the former secretary of state’s violations of regulatory protocol amount to a prosecutable crime. FBI investigators have interviewed several of Clinton aides, including her deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin, and former chief of staff Cheryl Mills.