The FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s secret email server and failure to protect government secrets during her term as Secretary of State has entered its penultimate phase. As Hillary seeks to secure the Democratic nomination, the threat of arrest has never been higher.
According to federal law enforcement sources, the 147 FBI agents assigned to the case have completed their examination of raw data. At this stage, FBI prosecutors and agents proceed to make rational inferences based on that data. Next, they look for sources to validate (or disprove) those inferences. Much of their work on the Clinton case has been conducted with neutral sources of evidence including email data, documents, and government records.
Bryan Pagliano is the one source not considered neutral. He agreed to cooperate last fall with either an order of immunity or a written promise of non-prosecution. Pagliano told the feds that Hillary paid him $5,000 to migrate two State Department email streams (one open and one secret) from government computers to her homebrew server in Chappaqua New York.
He also admitted that Hillary was told – repeatedly – not to use her BlackBerry to discuss state secrets.
We can assume the acquisition and corroboration phase has come to a close because prosecutors are now asking Hillary’s top aides to come in for interviews. This is particularly dangerous for the aides, who will go into the interview “blind” – meaning the DOJ will not tell them what they already know. This increases the chances an aide will get caught in a “perjury trap.”
While the interviews do not occur under oath, an aide could be trapped into lying by clever prosecutors and aggressive FBI agents. Lying to the FBI is a crime equivalent to perjury. For this reason, many white-collar criminal defense lawyers do not allow their clients to be interviewed by FBI agents. Here’s an example everyone knows about: Martha Stewart went to jail for telling one lie to a single FBI agent during such an interview.
After the interviews have been completed, the DOJ investigation will move into its final phase in which the agents will attempt to interview Clinton herself. The prosecutors will assure Clinton’s lawyers that they have proof of criminal behavior and suggest they give Clinton an opportunity to challenge it before they present the evidence to a grand jury.
This is a lose-lose situation for Hillary.
If she agrees to talk with the FBI, they will certainly catch her in several inconsistencies. They are unhappy with her public lies and they already know that she used her homebrew server to transmit sensitive information.
The decision to refuse the interview is similarly treacherous, as it would show the world that Hillary has something to hide. Not to mention the fact that she has stated multiple times in public that she can’t wait to talk to the FBI.
It seems likely that Hillary will become the Democratic presidential nominee. Supporters who have realized just how much trouble Hillary has gotten herself into are now pleading for a new system that would require additional proof before she can be prosecuted.
America’s public will not stand for that.
Meanwhile, the Dems should start reconsidering their choice for presidential nominee lest a catastrophe soon come their way in the form of indictment.