Tags: Hillary Clinton | clinton | aides | hire | same | attorney | FBI

Clinton Aides Hire Same Attorney for FBI Email Probe

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By    |   Friday, 01 Apr 2016 09:56 AM

Four of Hillary Clinton's State Department staff members have hired the same attorney for the FBI's investigation into her private email server, reports Politico.

Beth Wilkinson is a former Justice Department attorney who prosecuted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and former Panama dictator Manuel Noriega.

"They've hired her because she knows everybody in main Justice," said Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. attorney. "That's very smart on their part."

"All of them hiring the same lawyer seems to mean that they all plan to provide the same story," said Dan Metcalfe, founding director of the Department of Justice's office of information and privacy.

"The premise is that they believe there is not likely to be a situation where they start pointing a finger at one another to save their own skin — or perhaps at Secretary Clinton."

"They must believe prosecutors don't have that much.," Metcalfe added. 

But that plan brings with it its own risks.

A "joint representation" or "common defense" strategy could imperil one of Clinton's staffers if that person must testify negatively about another of Wilkinson's clients.

The four aides are former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, Deputy Chief Jake Sullivan, Mills' deputy Heather Samuelson, and Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines.

This strategy is "fraught with danger," said former U.S. attorney Bill Killian. Noting it's rare that a conflict of interest would not crop up at some point.

The FBI is looking into whether Clinton's use of the private email server mishandled classified information. Mills, Sullivan, and Reines all emailed Clinton's personal account.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley asked Wilkinson and other lawyers involved in the case if there was a joint defense arrangement, but Wilkinson said she was unable to answer the question for confidentiality reasons.

FBI Director James Comey has been part of Clinton investigations since Bill Clinton was president, reports Time Magazine.

A source tells the Time, "If the evidence is there, it's there. If it leads to something inconclusive, or nothing, he's not going to recommend filing charges."

The FBI has started the process of setting up interviews with Clinton's aides and staffers, according to The Los Angeles Times.

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Four of Hillary Clinton's State Department staff members have hired the same attorney for the FBI's investigation into her private email server, reports Politico.
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Friday, 01 Apr 2016 09:56 AM
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