Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) assured CNN State of the Union guest host Brianna Keilar that Hillary Clinton did nothing wrong in her e-mail scandal, and that there was nothing improper about Bill Clinton’s meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Asked by Keiler whether Hillary Clinton could still “technically” be indicted despite rumors to the contrary, Booker said: “Technically, you or I could be as well.” He described Hillary Clinton’s interview with the FBI on Saturday as “routine.
Booker also lashed out at those who have raised concerns about the Clinton-Lynch meeting:
She’s a long-standing professional, she came up through the ranks at the Justice Department. I think she’s handing this right. She did nothing wrong, no violation. And she already said publicly that she’s going to abide by the determination of the FBI and the prosecutors who are working on this case.
And again, let’s understand what this is all about. This … had nothing to do with this case, it had to do with golf and grandchildren. So this is nothing that in any way undermines this case. And people who are alleging that — and I notice a lot of that’s coming from the Trump campaign — are trying to whip up conspiracy theories here. This is a professional prosecutor, she knows what she’s doing — and she has said, has the appearance of impropriety, but nothing happened, and as a result of that she’s going to accept the determination of the prosecutors working on this case.
Booker did not say how he knew nothing improper had occurred. His words contradicted those of other Democrats, including Sen. Chris Coons (D-CT), who said that Lynch should not have met with Clinton.
Former San Francisco mayor and fellow Democrat Willie Brown also panned the meeting:
If Clinton wanted to pass on a warm word to the attorney general, then he should have met up with her at some public function. That way there would have been plenty of witnesses to swear that nothing even close to a conflict of interest ever came up.
As mayor, I made a point of never meeting privately with anyone on any issue pending before the Public Utilities Commission, the Planning Department, Muni, the port, the airport or any other area where there might be a conflict of interest. Any meetings on an issue like that were held with the office door wide open, so anyone could walk in at any time. The open door also sent the message that someone could overhear everything that was being said.
Former president Clinton is also a potential target of investigation, given accusations that the Clinton Foundation benefited from foreign donations during Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department, and suspicions that e-mails about donors may have been hidden on her private e-mail server, and later deleted instead of being turned over to the government.
Booker, a rising star within the Democratic Party, cast himself as a crusader against corruption when he ran for mayor of Newark.
Asked to comment on whether it is appropriate for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to continue to receive Secret Service protection at a cost to taxpayers of $38,000 per day, Booker deferred: “It’s important that we keep Americans safe.”