In February, a former FBI assistant director debunked Hillary Clinton’s claim that the agency’s investigation into her private email server was nothing more than a “security review.” We “do not do security reviews,” affirmed 28-year FBI veteran Steve Pomerantz, who added. “What they primarily do and what they are clearly doing in this instance is a criminal investigation.” [Emphasis added]
The highlighted phrase has never been repeated by the Clinton camp or the Obama administration — until yesterday. During the White House daily briefing, Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked by Fox News reporter James Rosen whether the president’s endorsement of Clinton could be construed as “an indication” to the FBI and/or Justice Department of how he “wants to see this case resolved.”
A video of Rosen’s question and Earnest’s reply appears below. The transcript follows.
JAMES ROSEN: So when a career prosecutor or an FBI agent working on the Clinton investigation hears this President speak openly about how he wants Hillary Clinton to succeed him, you don’t think that that career prosecutor or that FBI agent takes that as some indication as to how the president wants to see this case resolved?
JOSH EARNEST: No. I think those career prosecutors understand that they have job to do, and that that job they are supposed to do — which is to follow the facts, to pursue the evidence to a logical conclusion — that’s a job that they are responsible for doing without any sort of political interference. And the president expects them to do that job, this is the reason that we actually ask career federal prosecutors to take the lead on these kinds of matters. They don’t have political jobs. They have career jobs as law enforcement officers and as prosecutors and investigators. That’s what their responsibility is.
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 and that people should be treated the same way before the law regardless of their political influence, regardless of their political party, regardless of their political stature and regardless of what political figure has endorsed them. [Emphasis added]
This could have been simply an instance of Earnest misspeaking, especially in view of Obama’s meeting behind closed door with Attorney General Loretta Lynch immediately after his endorsement of Hillary. Lynch, after all, has the ultimate decision on whether Clinton will be prosecuted should the FBI issue an indictment.
On the other hand…