Former Secretary of State, and current Democrat Party Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton was interviewed Saturday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Department of Justice's yearlong investigation is looking into her use of government emails with sensitive information on her own personal server, while conducting official business of the State Department. Her 3 and 1/2 hour long interview was said to be "voluntary" by her campaign. This comes after a long series of interviews with former staffers. The FBI is looking to conclude their investigation and present their findings to Attorney General Loretta Lynch before the end of July, and before the major parties' conventions.
FBI interviews @HillaryClinton regarding her unsecure email server. Will she be #indicted?—@MarkScheering #tcot
The existence of the server was revealed in March of 2015, in which she relied exclusively on it's use for her emails. The FBI is examining what may amount to mishandling of classified information after the Inspector General of the State Department and the intelligence community referred the case to them last summer. In a blistering audit last May, the State Department's IG said that Clinton blatantly ignored warnings that her email server violated State Department regulations, that she did not seek permission for her email setup, and not only was vulnerable to attacks by hackers but was shut down at least once over fears it had actually been hacked. Clinton refused talking with the IG, but the audit reported she feared her "personal being accessible."
Legal experts believe that the FBI may be looking at whether there was unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material, violations of Section 1924 of Title 18, or even the Espionage Act that makes it a crime to anyone "through gross negligence" to allow the loss theft or removal of classified information or fails to promptly report such mishandling to his or her superior. There are reports that Russia not only hacked her server, but is debating whether to release over 20,000 of her emails publicly.
Agents have already interviewed many State Department aids and officials during Clinton's time there as Secretary, including her Chief of State Cheryl Mills and her current Campaign Vice Chairwoman Huma Abedin. Bryan Pagliano, who originally set up the server for Clinton, has received limited immunity from prosecution from the Justice Department and is said to be cooperative.
Clinton's interview came days after former President Bill Clinton met privately on the Phoenix tarmac with AG Lynch and her husband. While Lynch has maintained the claim that the meeting was purely social, she admits that it "casts a shadow over how this case may be perceived." She has since announced that she will accept the recommendations of the FBI Director James Comey and federal prosecutors. However she has not fully recused herself from the investigation and it will be her department, not the FBI, who will ultimately decide whether or not to press charges.
Following reports of Clinton's interview, Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump tweeted "It is impossible for the FBI not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton. What she did was wrong! What Bill did was stupid!" Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a press release that the FBI interview reinforces Clinton’s “central role in deliberately creating a culture which put her own political ambitions above State Department rules and jeopardized our national security.”