Hillary Clinton argued Friday that the months-long FBI investigation into her private email use and a spate of Freedom of Information Act lawsuits pending against the State Department are two different events, and said the latter has been politically motivated.
"There's two different things," Clinton said during a pre-taped interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
"There is a security inquiry going on and, you know, we respect that. It's on its own timetable, but it's moving forward," she said. "Then there are these lawsuits. And I think when people say, 'Well, look, you know, this lawsuit,' that's what they're talking about. They're not talking about the security inquiry. They're talking about Judicial Watch."
Clinton was referring to a FOIA case filed by conservative nonprofit Judicial Watch in which a judge this week approved the group's request to question Clinton's top aides about the private server and the 30,000 emails they erased from its hard drive in 2014.
She has frequently referred to the FBI investigation as a "security inquiry" even though most agents have characterized the probe as criminal in nature.
"They're really two different things. They get conflated sometimes," Clinton said. "I am personally not concerned about it. I think that there will be a resolution on the security inquiry."
Clinton has said she's confident that the FBI investigation will not yield an unfavorable result for her and her aides. However, a steady stream of reports over the past several months have suggested roughly 150 agents are now assigned to the growing case, which includes the possible transmission of "top secret" material on unsecured cell phones and tablets.
"The litigation that others have brought and some of them are, you know, right wing outfits, those will just proceed, and again I'm not worried or concerned about them," Clinton said of the FOIA lawsuits.
While several of those cases have been filed by Republican-aligned groups such as Judicial Watch and Citizens United, others have been pressed by mainstream media outlets like the Associated Press and Vice News.
"I do think it's important not to confuse the two, and that's something I wanted to set straight," Clinton said of the FBI investigation and the FOIA lawsuits.
In at least one of the open records cases, a federal judge has pushed the State Department to work with the FBI to determine if any deleted emails recovered from Clinton's server are responsive to pending FOIA requests.