LANGLEY, Va., July 2 (UPI) — Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was questioned by the FBI Saturday to determine if her use of a private email server as secretary of state violated any federal laws regarding the handling of classified government information.
A campaign spokesman declined to comment on the substance of the interview but said Clinton went willingly to FBI headquarters in Langley, Va., to participate. She spoke with investigators for about 3-1/2 hours.
“Secretary Clinton gave a voluntary interview this morning about her email arrangements while she was secretary,” Nick Merrill, a campaign spokesman, 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.”
The interview comes as Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, came under fire this week for a private meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch when they two were both at a Phoenix airport. Clinton delayed his own departure and walked across the tarmac to Lynch’s government plane, which had just landed. The two, along with Lynch’s husband, spoke privately for about 30 minutes.
Lynch, the nation’s top law enforcement official, said the meeting was social in nature and her department’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server was not mentioned. Still, she told an audience in Colorado on Friday if she had it to do over, she would not have met privately with Clinton and regretted the “shadow” she cast over the FBI’s investigation.
Lynch, who Bill Clinton first appointed U.S. attorney for the eastern district of New York in 1999, pledged she would not step in to override the findings of career prosecutors and the FBI, should they seek to pursue criminal charges against Clinton or any of her aides.
Hillary Clinton’s email server has been the subject of government investigations and partisan criticism since it became public as part of a House committee’s investigation into her role responding to an attack that killed four Americans, including a U.S. ambassador, in Benghazi, Libya.
Rather than use a government-provided email, which would have been subject to Freedom of Information law, Clinton had an aide set up a private email server at her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., that she and a few of her closest aides used.
Clinton has said no classified information was sent from or stored on the server, though the State Department in reviewing the emails has retroactively classified nearly two dozen messages for containing sensitive information.