There are plenty of reasons to be outraged about Hillary Clinton and her use of a private email server. And, certainly, there are fair critiques of the DOJ/FBI’s handling of the investigation. For example, I think it would be fair to question why a special prosecutor wasn’t appointed, given that Attorney General Loretta Lynch effectively removed herself from the case. However, what is not fair, and what is just completely dumb is the conspiracy theory that somehow Clinton was given ‘special treatment’ because the FBI never questioned her under oath during her 3 1/2 hour interview. That was one of the revelations that came out during FBI Director James Comey’s congressional testimony. It sparked much outrage. Many commentators even called it evidence of “corruption.” Hold on now, big news flash! The FBI NEVER questions anyone under oath during an interview.
Literally, that is not how they do it. In fact, an FBI agent doesn’t have the power to put anyone under oath during an interview. Have you ever heard of any suspect being interviewed by a police detective under oath? Anyone with the basic knowledge of an episode of Law & Order would know that. But, still somehow, the headline made its way into mainstream media, and was used as a talking point to bash the FBI.
Established media outlets like The Hill even fueled the fire with headlines like “FBI didn’t record Clinton interview, did not administer sworn oath.” Or this headline from The Washington Times – Comey: FBI Didn’t Put Clinton Under Oath. Don’t let the fact that the FBI doesn’t “administer sworn oaths” get in the way of a good story. Oaths are taken during testimony in court, during a Grand Jury proceeding or during a congressional hearing — not during an FBI interview. Here’s more evidence of the lunacy:
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 8, 2016
— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) July 7, 2016
— John Presley (@presleyjohn99) July 8, 2016
Furthermore, the fact that the FBI “did not administer an oath” doesn’t mean that Clinton will not face any repercussions if it is later discovered she lied to agents.
“FBI interviews are not under oath. But they’re not a walk in the park either. Lying to an agent in an interview is a violation of 18 USC 1001 — a federal crime,” former federal prosecutor Henry Hockeimer told LawNewz.com. So seriously, let’s stick to the real issues. There are plenty of them. This isn’t one of them.