Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton met with officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Saturday as part of a probe into her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of State, her campaign said.
"Secretary Clinton gave a voluntary interview this morning about her email arrangements while she was secretary," campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said in a statement.
The interview lasted three and a half hours and was held at the FBI headquarters in Washington, a Clinton aide said. It took place four weeks before the Democratic Party convention is expected to formally nominate Clinton as its candidate for the Nov. 8 presidential election.
The FBI is investigating whether anyone in Clinton's operation broke the law as result of a personal email server kept in her Chappaqua, NY, home while she was secretary of State, an issue that has overshadowed her campaign.
Republican lawmakers have called for an independent investigation, saying they do not trust the Justice Department to handle the inquiry with impartiality. Republicans, including Clinton's presidential rival Donald Trump, intensified their criticism of the process on Thursday after Attorney General Loretta Lynch met privately with Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, at an airport.
As The Christian Science Monitor's Peter Grier wrote Thursday:
Yes, it likely made Mrs. Clinton’s email problem worse in political terms, as Washington Post pundit Chris Cillizza writes today at The Fix blog. It’s given many voters cause to remember that Clinton’s trustworthiness numbers are pretty low to begin with.
But Mrs. Clinton has the good fortune to be running against someone whose unfavorable ratings are even worse than hers. Partisan views – and vote preferences – are already pretty entrenched. It’s unlikely this news point in and of itself will have more than a temporary effect on horse race polls.
Ms. Lynch said they were talking about golf and grandchildren, not discussing the probe, but she acknowledged the meeting was inappropriate and said would accept whatever recommendations the career prosecutors working on the case made about whether to prosecute Clinton.
(Reporting By Emily Flitter; Editing by Mary Milliken)