MANCHESTER — California Congressman Darrell Issa, who previously led an investigation into Benghazi as former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, says the FBI "would like to indict both Huma [Abedin] and Hillary Clinton" for conducting sensitive government business on an unsecure, private email server.
"I think the FBI director would like to indict both Huma and Hillary as we speak," the Republican heavyweight told the Washington Examiner Thursday, during a debate watch-party at Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's New Hampshire campaign headquarters.
"I think he's in a position where he's being forced to triple-time make a case of what would otherwise be, what they call, a slam dunk," Issa said, referring to FBI Director James Comey, who previously told the Senate Judiciary Committee he would conduct a "competent," "honest" and "independent" probe into Clinton's handling of classified information during her tenure as secretary of state.
Still, Issa suggested Clinton's wrongdoing is obvious.
"You can't have 1,300 highly sensitive emails that contain highly sensitive material that's taken all, or in part from classified documents, and have it be an accident," he said. "There's no question, she knew she had a responsibility and she circumvented it. And she circumvented it a second time when she knowingly let highly-classified material get onto emails in an unclassified format."
Issa's comments come just two days after former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, claimed he has friends in the FBI who "tell [him] they're ready to indict and they're ready to recommend an indictment."
"They also say that if the attorney general does not indict, they're going public," DeLay said Tuesday during an interview on Newsmax TV.
Clinton, who turned over her private email server to the Justice Department in August, has repeatedly downplayed her growing email scandal throughout her presidential campaign. Last Wednesday, she described new revelations about the level of classified intelligence contained on her unsecure server as a "leak" by Republicans.
"This, seems to me, to be, you know, another effort to inject this into the campaign. It's another leak," the Democratic presidential hopeful told NPR.
Despite mounting evidence against the former first lady and the FBI's alleged desire to recommend an indictment, according to Issa, the California congressman says it is unlikely Clinton will face criminal charges during the election cycle.
"I've worked with both the last attorney general... and this attorney general, and I really don't believe they'll do it," Issa told the Examiner. "Doing it, by definition, would end her run for president."
He continued, "So do I think the Democrats are in an odd situation where the only thing they can do is hold their nose and hold back on and indictment?"
"Sadly, yes," Issa said.