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The White House press secretary shot down speculation that President Barack Obama’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton could present a conflict of interest with the ongoing FBI probe into the former secretary of state’s use of a private email server.
At a press conference Thursday, Josh Earnest insisted that investigators would remain impartial, despite the president’s endorsement of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
“There is not,” Earnest replied, when a reporter asked him if the endorsement could create a conflict with the FBI investigation.
“The president made clear that that investigation is one that is being conducted independent of any sort of political interference,” he added. “That is a principle to which the president is resolutely committed.”
The reason that the president feels confident that he can go out and make this endorsement and record a video in which he describes his strong support for Secretary Clinton’s campaign is that he knows the people who are conducting the investigation aren’t going to be swayed by any political interference. They aren’t going to be swayed by political forces. That they know that their investigation should be guided by the facts and that they should follow the evidence where it leads. And the president has complete confidence that that’s exactly what they’ll do.
The reporter pressed on, asking whether an FBI agent working on the investigation who “hears this president speak openly about how he wants Clinton to succeed him” would “take that as some indication of how the president wants to see this case resolved.”
Earnest again denied this.
“I think that those career prosecutors understand that they have a job to do,” Earnest said. “And that that job that they are supposed to do, which is to follow the facts, to pursue the evidence to a logical conclusion, that is a job that they are responsible for doing without any sort of political interference.”
Clinton has maintained that she has no concern about the possibility of getting indicted.
She said earlier this week that there is “absolutely” no chance the ongoing FBI investigation will hurt her presidential bid.