WH: No Conflict of Interest in Obama Endorsing a Woman Who's Under Investigation by Obama's DOJ

By Susan Jones | June 10, 2016 | 7:05am EDT
President Obama tells Americans, "I'm with her," as he tapes a video endorsement of Hillary Clinton. The video was taped on Tuesday and released by the Clinton campaign on Thursday, June 9, 2016. (Screen grab)

(CNSNews.com) - President Obama wasted no time endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, taping a video message on Tuesday, hours before the primaries that gave Clinton the requisite number of delegates to secure her party's presidential nomination.

The White House released that Tuesday-taped video on Thursday, prompting a reporter, James Rosen of Fox News, to ask Obama's spokesman about a potential conflict of interest:

"I wonder if you could address for us the potential conflict of interest that might exist when the president of the United States, the head of the executive branch, is openly saying, 'I want this woman to succeed me in the Oval Office,' and you have other employees of the Executive Branch -- career prosecutors, FBI agents -- working this case, who now have just heard how the president wants to see this case resolved, in essence. Isn't there some conflict there?" the reporter asked Josh Earnest.

"James, there's not," Earnest replied. "And you noted a couple of instances in which the president had been asked about the FBI investigation. And in each of those answers, the president made clear that that investigation is one that is being conducted independent of any sort of political interference. That is a principle to which the president is resolutely committed."

Earnest said Obama "feels confident" that the people conducting the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email "aren't going to be swayed by any sort of 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 followed up: "So when a career prosecutor or an FBI agent who is working on the Clinton investigation hears this president speak openly of how he wants Hillary Clinton to succeed him, you don't think that that career prosecutor or that FBI agent takes that as some indication of how the president wants to see this case resolved?"

"No," Earnest said. "I think that those career prosecutors understand that they have a job do to. 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 that is a job that they are responsible for doing without any sort of political interference.

"And the president expects them to do that job. And look, this is the reason that we actually ask career federal prosecutors to take the lead on these kinds of matters. They're the ones who conduct this investigation.

"They are not -- they don't have political jobs. They have career jobs as law enforcement officers and as prosecutors and as investigators. And that's what their responsibility is.

"And that's why the president, when discussing this issue in each stage, has reiterated his commitment to this principle that any criminal investigation should be conducted independent of any sort of political interference, and that people should be treated the same way before the law regardless of their political influence, regardless of their political party, regardless of their political stature, and regardless of what political figure has endorsed them."

On Wednesday, Hillary Clinton repeated that there is no chance she'll be indicted for her misuse of personal email and a personal email server to conduct government business.

Fox News's Brett Baier told Clinton, "You've tried to calm Democrats' fears that there isn't going to be another shoe dropping. What basis did you tell this radio station, 1070 Radio on Friday, that there is absolutely no possibility of an indictment? Has anybody from the DOJ talked to you or your representatives?"

"I will repeat what I said," Clinton responded. "That is not going to happen. There is no basis for it and I'm looking forward to this being wrapped up as soon as possible."

Baier later followed up: "The Clinton Foundation investigation, the FBI investigation into the email you're saying zero chance that this is a problem for you in this election."

"Absolutely. That's what I'm saying. That happens to be the truth," Clinton responded.

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