What is the legality of Clinton emails

Clinton's email affair in the finals

The questioning of Hillary Clinton in the email affair suggests an end to the criminal investigation soon. But the cause continues to provide ammunition for the Republicans.

With a questioning by FBI agents, the criminal investigation against the likely Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has reached the last round. As Clinton announced, she volunteered on Saturday morning, but accompanied by several lawyers, around three and a half hours for the questioning.

Random result of «Benghasi»

The FBI is investigating whether Clinton, as Secretary of State, knowingly violated her obligations to deal with confidential information by using both a private e-mail account and a private server for her electronic correspondence, thereby waiving the special security precautions of governmental institutions. She herself emphasized several times that she had not received or sent any information that was confidential at the time. Several documents that ran through your server without notice were then classified as secret.

The e-mail affair is an accidental result of the special commission of inquiry into the terrorist attack in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. Because Clinton's e-mails about the attack could not be found in the State Department archives, the matter came to the surface. Clinton tried to limit the damage first by showing that she was not particularly skilled at using modern means of communication.

In the meantime, however, it has become clear that she wanted to keep control of her private correspondence in her own hands. Official correspondence must be kept in the USA and, if required, can also be published if required. The problem was that Clinton himself had decided to use the same e-mail address for personal and professional matters.

Not only the likely candidate seemed to underestimate the consequences of the affair for a long time and only admitted as much as she could already be proven. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, also displayed impressive nonchalance when he recently noticed after landing in Phoenix, Arizona that Attorney General Loretta Lynch's plane was also on the airfield. He decided to pay the old friend a courtesy call.

Lynch would ultimately have jurisdiction over whether Hillary Clinton will be charged as a result of the criminal investigation. This is not a matter of form. The case of the former four-star general and CIA director David Petraeus only ended with an admission of guilt on a minor count because the then Attorney General Eric Holder had waived an indictment with significantly more serious allegations. Otherwise Petraeus would have been threatened with hefty jail terms and the Obama administration would face lengthy legal proceedings with unforeseeable consequences for the secrecy of military and secret service operations.

Suspicion of influence

Because the final decision-making power lies with the attorney general, Lynch should have prevented the meeting with Bill Clinton - in their portrayal only harmless friendships were exchanged - in any case. You and Clinton should have known that anything that could be agreed upon would be presented as such in the election campaign. Lynch has since announced that she will acknowledge the result of the investigation by the relevant law enforcement officers and the FBI without doing anything of her own. What this means exactly is unclear, because it does not mean that she is formally stepping out on the matter.