- The Washington Times - Friday, March 4, 2016

A conservative watchdog group has called on the Obama administration to appoint a special counsel to decide whether to prosecute Hillary Clinton for violating national security because of her private email server.

Matthew Whitaker, the executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, and former U.S. Attorney, said Friday that Attorney General Loretta Lynch shouldn’t be the deciding vote on Mrs. Clinton’s case because of her partisan status.

“It is unprecedented in our country’s history to have a secretary of state conduct the people’s business on a private email server that was housed in her basement,” Mr. Whitaker told The Washington Times at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, referring to the private server that Mrs. Clinton used for emails during her time as secretary of state.

“Under these circumstances, someone with a true independence from the Obama administration, from President Obama — who has tactfully endorsed Hillary Clinton — is necessary to make the right prosecution decision,” he said.

Federal prosecutors this week agreed to an immunity deal in exchange for cooperation with Mrs. Clinton’s former State Department computer tech Bryan Pagliano, according to multiple reports — indicating the Justice Department is nearing a decision whether Mrs. Clinton mishandled classified emails during her tenure.

Mr. Whitaker said he has full faith the FBI will present the soundest case possible to the attorney general, but is worried Mrs. Lynch will decide not to pursue it when they present it to her because she’s an Obama appointee.

“Ultimately my concern is Loretta Lynch and the partisan nature of her appointment by the President who has endorsed Hillary Clinton,” Mr. Whitaker said. “I think they will do a great investigation, but ultimately somebody needs to decide who gets prosecuted and that decision right now resides with the attorney general and I’m concerned whether she will be able to put aside her partisan leanings and make the right decision on the facts and the evidence.”

All told, more than 27,000 of Mrs. Clinton’s 30,000-plus messages have now been released, and some 1,675 have been deemed classified in some form. That includes 22 that are “top secret” and haven’t been released in any capacity because officials say they are too sensitive to reveal even the names and subject lines.

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