US President Obama ‘guarantees’ Hillary Clinton email probe’s independence

"I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department or the FBI, not just in this case but in any case. Period,"

Washington | Published: April 10, 2016 9:43 pm
US President Barack Obama. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst US President Barack Obama. (REUTERS photo)

US President Barack Obama Sunday said that the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state is taking place without political interference.

The controversy over the Democratic presidential frontrunner’s management of her official correspondence as US top diplomat from 2009 to 2013 has provided a staple Republican line of attack during the campaign for the White House.

“I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department or the FBI, not just in this case but in any case. Period,” Obama told.

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“I do not talk to the attorney general about pending investigations,” he added. “I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations.”

Asked by journalist Chris Wallace whether Clinton would be treated differently were she to win the Democratic nomination, Obama said, “How many times do I have to say it, Chris? Guaranteed.”

Obama, who leaves office in January, restated his view that although Clinton in her own words had shown a degree of “carelessness” over her official emails at the State Department, “she has not jeopardized America’s national security.”

Calling on the former first lady’s critics to “keep this in perspective,” he said she had done “an outstanding job” during her four years as secretary of state.

Clinton, who is leading the Democratic campaign against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, has said that none of the emails sent over her private server were classified at the time.

She has handed the State Department 52,000 pages of documents relating to her correspondence.

Asked whether the FBI probe has reached its final stages, director James Comey told reporters earlier this week that the agency feels no pressure to wrap up its proceedings before the Democratic convention in July.

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