The FBI has expanded its probe into the private email arrangement of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to determine if there’s any evidence she violated a federal false statements law, Fox News reports.
According to Fox News, unnamed intelligence sources say the agency is now focusing on U.S. Code 18, Section 1001 — a provision that pertains to “materially false” statements given either in writing, orally or through a third party — a felony punishable by five years in prison.
The wider scope represents an expansion of the agency’s investigation that’s also looking at potential violations of an Espionage Act provision relating to “gross negligence” in the handling of national defense information, Fox News reports.
“The agents involved are under a lot of pressure and are busting a —,” a source tells Fox News.
The expanded probe follows a report earlier in the week that the FBI is stepping up the Clinton email investigation.
Former FBI agent Timothy Gill explains the section of the federal statute on false statements that may apply to Clinton “is a broad, brush statute that punishes individuals who are not direct and fulsome in their answers.”
“It is a cover-all,” he tells Fox News. “The problem for a defendant is when their statements cause the bureau to expend more time, energy, resources to de-conflict their statements with the evidence,.”
Meanwhile, Fox News, citing two unnamed government officials, also reports the FBI is doing its own classification review of the Clinton emails — “effectively cutting out what has become a grinding process at the State Department.”
One government source tells Fox News the FBI is identifying suspect emails, and then going directly to the agencies who originated them — and who, under the regulations, have final say on the classification.
Clinton has been under fire for months for using a private email server while serving as secretary of state, and has repeatedly insisted it was never used for classified information.