Obama: 'I Guarantee That There Is No Political Influence' in Any DOJ Investigation

By Susan Jones | April 11, 2016 | 5:09 AM EDT

President Obama and Hillary Clinton (AP File Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(CNSNews.com) - President Obama said he can "guarantee" that the ongoing FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails will be based on evidence, not politics. He also said he continues to believe that Clinton did not jeopardize national security by conducting official State Department business on a private email server.

"I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department, or the FBI, not just in this case, but in any case," Obama told "Fox News Sunday" in an interview taped last week.

Chris Wallace told Obama some Americans worry that decisions regarding the email investigation "will be made on politial grounds, not legal grounds," as Clinton runs for president. "Can you guarantee to the American people, can you direct the Justice Department to say, 'Hillary Clinton will be treated -- as the evidence goes, she will not be in any way protected,'" Wallace asked.

"I can guarantee that," Obama responded. "And I can guarantee that, not because I give Attorney General Lynch a directive. That is institutionally how we have always operated. I do not talk to the Attorney General about pending investigations. I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. We have a strict line, and always have maintained it."

Yet in the same interview, Obama did give his opinion of the case, describing Hillary Clinton as an "outstanding Secretary of State" who "would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy."

Moreover, the Obama Justice Department previously has sidestepped investigations that could prove damaging to the president.

Under former Attorney General Eric Holder, the Justice Department refused to turn over documents related to the Fast and Furious gun-walking operation, for which Holder was held in contempt of Congress.

And the Obama Justice Department refused to prosecute former IRS official Lois Lerner for contempt of Congress after she to testify about the improper scrutiny given to conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status.

"I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department, or the FBI, not just in this case, but in any case...Full stop. Period," Obama told "Fox News Sunday."

"And she will be treated no different--" Wallace said.

"Guaranteed. Full stop," Obama repeated. "Nobody gets treated differently when it comes to the Justice Department, because nobody is above the law."

"Even if she ends up as the Democratic nominee?" Wallace asked.

"How many times do I have to say it, Chris? Guaranteed," Obama said.

In the same interview, Obama urged Americans to keep Clinton's handling of classified information "in perspective."

"And what I also know, because I handle a lot of classified information, is that there are -- there's classified, and then there's classified. There's stuff that is really top secret top secret, and there's stuff that is being presented to the president or the secretary of state, that you might not want on the transom, or going out over the wire, but is basically stuff that you could get in open source," Obama said.

"I continue to believe that she has not jeopardized America's national security. Now what I've also said is that -- and she has acknowledged -- that there's a carelessness, in terms of managing e-mails, that she has owned, and she recognizes.

"But I also think it is important to keep this in perspective. This is somebody who has served her country for four years as secretary of state, and did an outstanding job. And no one has suggested that in some ways, as a consequence of how she's handled e-mails, that that detracted from her excellent ability to carry out her duties."

Sponsored Links