Josh Earnest may have gotten himself in a whole heap of trouble with comments on Hillary email scandal
The oleaginous White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, was trying to dampen down any concern over the news that 22 emails on Hillary Clinton’s server were so sensitive that nothing at all could be released. But instead, he opened a can of worms that will make things worse and could even lead to a subpoena (and no doubt a claim of executive privilege. Boy, I am starting to get a severe case of Watergate déjà vu.).
First, the question and statement, via the Weekly Standard:
A [Fox News] reporter [Kevin Corke] asked, "Can you say with certainty and confidence that Secretary Clinton will not be indicted because of this email scandal?"
"That will be a decision made by the Department of Justice and prosecutors over there," said Earnest. "What I know that some officials over there have said is that she is not a target of the investigation. So that does not seem to be the direction that it's trending. But I'm certainly not going to weigh in on a decision or in that process in any way. That is a decision to be made solely by independent prosecutors but again, based on what we know from the Department of Justice, it does not seem to be headed in that direction."
There are two very big dangers here.
It would be entirely improper for the White House to be in communication with the Justice Department over an ongoing criminal investigation. This would constitute political interference. A congressional committee could well issue a subpoena for Earnest, which would raise the Watergate flag when executive privilege likely would be claimed.
Second, this claim is likely to infuriate the FBI and those DoJ prosecutors with integrity. The normally staid ace reporter Catherine Herridge used the expression “super pissed off” to describe it to Greta Van Susteren. Via Gateway Pundit:
That statement by Josh Earnest has got the back up of our contacts at the FBI and Justice Department for two reasons… They are SUPER PISSED OFF to use a technical term. Number one, Josh Earnest has absolutely no clearance or visibility in the FBI investigation. Number two, they say it really seems part of a troubling pattern from the White House because the president earlier said he did not see any national security implications to the Clinton emails and then we found out he had never been briefed.
Herridge’s series of scoops indicates she has good sources. If she is calling them pissed off, they are livid.