NYT - Federal agents were still cataloging the classified information from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s personal email server last week when President Obama went on television and played down the matter.
Investigators have not reached any conclusions about whether the information on the server had been compromised or whether to recommend charges, according to the law enforcement officials. But to investigators, it sounded as if Mr. Obama had already decided the answers to their questions and cleared anyone involved of wrongdoing.
A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment. But Ron Hosko, a former senior F.B.I. official who retired in 2014 and is now the president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, said it was inappropriate for the president to “suggest what side of the investigation he is on” when the F.B.I. is still investigating.
“Injecting politics into what is supposed to be a fact-finding inquiry leaves a foul taste in the F.B.I.’s mouth and makes them fear that no matter what they find, the Justice Department will take the president’s signal and not bring a case,” said Mr. Hosko, who maintains close contact with current agents.
Several current and former law enforcement officials, including those close to the investigation, expressed similar sentiments in separate interviews over several days. Most, however, did so only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case.
Since the existence of Mrs. Clinton’s account was revealed in March, she has provided a series of different explanations about whether she sent or received classified information from the account.