While Hillary Clinton fights for the Democratic presidential nomination, law enforcement officials tell Al Jazeera America the Federal Investigation into her personal email system while she was Secretary of State has reached a critical stage.
The FBI, led by Director James Comey, has now finished examining Clinton's private emails and home server. And the sources add that Comey's FBI team has been joined by the Justice Department prosecutors. Together, they are now examining the evidence, analyzing relevant laws, and attempting to arrange interviews with key figures in the investigation.
Those interviews, according to attorneys, will include former State Department aides Philippe Reines, Former Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, and Clinton herself.
Soon after those interviews -- in the next few days and weeks -- officials expect Director Comey to make his recommendation to Attorney General Loretta Lynch about potential criminal charges.
Thus, the closing chapter in a year-long FBI probe could likely end in the FBI's "recommendation to Attorney General Loretta Lynch about potential criminal charges." With Bryan Pagliano's immunity deal and interviews of Clinton and her associates scheduled at the end of the investigation, criminal indictments seem imminent.
Get ready for a Bernie Sanders nomination and presidency, since Sanders beats Trump by a wider margin than Clinton. I explain in the following appearance on CNN International that Clinton faces FBI indictment, and in another CNN International appearance that Bernie Sanders is the best hope against Donald Trump.
For Democrats to search anywhere else other than Bernie Sanders, if Clinton eventually faces criminal indictment, would be yet another criminal act by the establishment.
Also, remember that President Obama benefits just as much from potential FBI and DOJ indictments. During debates with Sanders, Clinton boasted that "Obama picked me" as his Secretary of State; a sign that the president trusted her judgement and decision-making. Their political ties and stature within the Democratic Party make them joined at the hip, especially in terms of how future historians will write about this era in American politics.
While Clinton has campaigned upon the belief that she'd further Obama's legacy, the reality is that Clinton must face legal repercussions for the White House to evade being linked to her email fiasco. Politically, it's the best outcome for the White House and would prevent Obama's legacy from being associated with Hillary Clinton's quest for "convenience."
Most importantly, any breach of conduct found by the FBI, if this breach leads to an indictment, would absolve President Obama and his staff from any direct connection with Clinton's reckless email practices.
Without a clear resolution to this FBI investigation, President Obama's legacy might eventually be linked to the future political and national security repercussions (stolen intelligence hacked by foreign nations, etc.) of Clinton's private server. As of now, the Affordable Care Act and other achievements have been the hallmarks of his years in the Oval Office, but the longer this controversy persists (without a clear delineation between Obama and Clinton), the greater the likelihood that someone in the president's administration will be lured into the political storm.
If any of the 22 Top Secret emails on Clinton's private server were sent to the Oval Office, then the president, or a member of his inner circle, could quickly become part of the FBI's investigation. Furthermore, if any of the more than 1,200 classified emails on Clinton's server were sent to President Obama, or officials within his administration, then this story would continue to cause headlines.
In January, The Huffington Post stated "The Obama administration confirmed for the first time Friday that Hillary Clinton's home server contained closely guarded government secrets, censoring 22 emails that contained material requiring one of the highest levels of classification."
As of now, the president has evaded any direct connection to the controversy. However, POLITICO wrote in October that "President Barack Obama found himself drawn into Hillary Clinton's email controversy Friday as the White House acknowledged the State Department is withholding a set of messages Obama and Clinton exchanged during her four years as secretary of state."
The president could easily find himself "drawn into Hillary Clinton's email controversy" once again, especially because the nature of the scandal revolves around classified data on an unguarded private server. This dilemma is highlighted in an AP article titled Emails: Russia-linked hackers tried to access Clinton server:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Russia-linked hackers tried at least five times to pry into Hillary Rodham Clinton's private email account while she was secretary of state, emails released Wednesday show.
Is there any way that these hackers would have stopped at only five attempts? Furthermore, Clinton's server faced hacking attempts from China, Germany, and other nations.
Since former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates already thinks Iran, China, or Russia have possession of Clinton's emails, then Obama's legacy on foreign policy could already have a well-publicized blemish.
If, for example, any of today's threats or national security hurdles is linked in any way to Clinton's security breach (let's say one of 22 the Top Secret emails being withheld by the State Department pertained to Putin and Syria), then Obama's administration is the next in line to take the blame.
Again, if Clinton did nothing wrong storing Top Secret emails on her private server, then the American public should be able to view these emails. We are not able to see any of this intelligence, especially since CNN states State Department will not release 22 'top secret' Clinton emails.
It's not a stretch of the imagination to say that Clinton broke at least one law pertaining to the storing of classified information by a government official. There are already eight laws that could have been broken, and Americans still don't know the extent of the FBI's investigation.
If the FBI fails to indict Hillary Clinton, then the public, as well as the intelligence community, will start pointing fingers.
When NPR publishes a headline titled 22 Hillary Clinton Emails Dubbed Top Secret, it's difficult to claim negligence, or over-classification.
NPR also writes that "She did, however, sign paperwork at the State Department that said she understood that information could be classified even if it weren't marked that way." Therefore, there's no way Clinton can circumvent responsibility, legally, from at least acknowledging that Top Secret intelligence should never have been anywhere other than government servers.
Richard Nixon's Watergate gave us a glimpse into the mind of a politician obsessed with secrecy, power, and political containment. On the subject of political containment, and its morality, Nixon once made the following statement:
Well, a corrupt endeavor is enough.
All right, a conduct endeavor, corrupt intent, but it must be corrupt and that gets to the point of motive. One must have a corrupt motive. Now I did not have a corrupt motive.
My motive was pure political containment, and political containment is not a corrupt motive.
We saw with Watergate that containment leads to cover-ups, and cover-ups implicate presidents. In politics, political containment can be linked not only to one person, but to many people. This fact alone highlights why a Clinton indictment would benefit the Obama administration.
Bring home Edward Snowden and free Chelsea Manning tomorrow, if Hillary Clinton can set up a private server as Secretary of State, without any oversight from government officials, and without any assurance that her security apparatus was better than the United States government server.
The most damaging aspect of Clinton's email server is the fact most Americans believe that if they were in Clinton's shoes, they'd already be in jail. There's a widespread viewpoint that Hillary Clinton is above the law, and this mentality has spread to Democrats as well as Republicans. I explain in this CNN New Day appearance why Hillary Clinton's actions epitomize white privilege.
Thus, in 2016, Bernie Sanders will have the Democratic nomination handed to him by the FBI, despite a DNC beholden to Hillary Clinton and her political allies. This DNC, as well as the Clinton campaign, views the FBI in a bizarre manner, and I explain their viewpoint in the following YouTube segment.