How does the White House know?
The political interference by the White House in the investigation of Hillary Clinton just took a big step up.
Previously, in a 60 Minutes interview in October 2015, Obama pretty much signaled Justice to lay off Hillary (emphasis added):
Steve Kroft: Did you know about Hillary Clinton’s use of private email server–
President Barack Obama: No.
Steve Kroft: –while she was Secretary of State?
President Barack Obama: No.
Steve Kroft: Do you think it posed a national security problem?
President Barack Obama: I don’t think it posed a national security problem. I think that it was a mistake that she has acknowledged and– you know, as a general proposition, when we’re in these offices, we have to be more sensitive and stay as far away from the line as possible when it comes to how we handle information, how we handle our own personal data. And, you know, she made a mistake. She has acknowledged it. I do think that the way it’s been ginned-up is in part because of– in part– because of politics. And I think she’d be the first to acknowledge that maybe she could have handled the original decision better and the disclosures more quickly. But–
* * *
Steve Kroft: This administration has prosecuted people for having classified material on their private computers.
President Barack Obama: Well, I– there’s no doubt that there had been breaches, and these are all a matter of degree. We don’t get an impression that here there was purposely efforts– on– in– to hide something or to squirrel away information. But again, I’m gonna leave it to–
Steve Kroft: If she had come to you.
President Barack Obama: I’m going to leave it to Hillary when she has an interview with you to address all these questions.
The White House later tried to walk back Obama’s expression of his view on whether Hillary had a national security problem as even that commentary could be seen as improper interference.
Today the White House stepped it up a significant notch, as reported by The Washington Examiner:
The president’s top spokesman said he sees no reason for Democrats to find an alternative presidential candidate in case Hillary Clinton is indicted over her mishandling of classified material on her private email server.
“That’s not something I’m worried about,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Friday.
Earnest also tried to counter a steady stream of largely GOP predictions that Hillary Clinton will face a Justice Department indictment for the email scandal.
“That will be a decision that will be made by the Department of Justice,” he said. “Some officials have said she is not the target of the investigation and it does not seem to be the direction in which it is trending.”
Pressed again on whether he believed Clinton could get indicted, Earnest said firmly: “It doesn’t seem to be headed in that direction.”
The White House needs to shut its collective mouth and stop signaling to the supposedly independent investigators what the outcome should be.
That’s particularly true given the escalating revelations about the highly sensitive nature of material found in Hillary’s emails:
The intelligence community has now deemed some of Hillary Clinton’s emails “too damaging” to national security to release under any circumstances, according to a U.S. government official close to the ongoing review. A second source, who was not authorized to speak on the record, backed up the finding.
The decision to withhold the documents in full, and not provide even a partial release with redactions, further undercuts claims by the State Department and the Clinton campaign that none of the intelligence in the emails was classified when it hit Clinton’s personal server.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 29, 2016
It’s particularly improper for the White House to make such comments since Obama signaled the other day that he’s quite fond of Hillary as his successor.
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