Interviews

Michael Mukasey on new Clinton email developments

Reaction from the former U.S. attorney general

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," August 22, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST:  Now, remember when Hillary Clinton said this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I responded right away and provided all my emails that could possibly be work-related.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VARNEY:  To former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who says today's news proves that was not true.  

We have reached out the campaign and are waiting to hear back.  

She said that she turned everything over.  That was not true.  What do you make of this, Mr. Attorney General, legally?

MICHAEL MUKASEY, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL:  Well, legally, candidly, not a whole lot, because the Justice Department has already decided that they're not going to prosecute her based on her handling of the emails.  

The statement that she made on television isn't prosecutable.  There is a question, I suppose, of whether any of these 14,900 emails are, in fact, work-related.  I can't believe that they're not, but that has yet to be determined.  

VARNEY:  So, legally, not a bombshell?

MUKASEY:  Legally, not a bombshell, but another drip in a steady procession of drips that we have had over the past several months, all of which are to the effect that we're getting pieces of the truth, not the whole truth.  

VARNEY:  Previously, tens of thousands of emails have been turned over.  
Some of them were high top-secret stuff.  We don't know what's in these new
15,000 emails.  But the inference is that they're not all about yoga and marriage plans.  

MUKASEY:  I can't believe that they are.  

And one of the things I find really disturbing, if you go back to Director Comey's statement, he said, we found no -- we found no direct evidence that her server had been penetrated.  

Now, ordinarily, one shouldn't have to start parsing the language of a high government official, but this fairly begs for it.  We found no direct evidence.  What about indirect evidence?  What is of real concern is the possibility that some foreign power hostile to the United States did penetrate her email server.  And particularly when he said that she was very careless in handling email overseas, that really was a matter of concern.

VARNEY:  I know you're the former attorney general of the United States of America.  You're a legal guy.

But is this altogether totally a legal issue?  Isn't it also a question of judgment, the judgment of a former secretary of state, former first lady, former senator to set up an entirely private system?  

MUKASEY:  Of course.  That is the problem that's been here from the get-go.  

What kind of judgment does it take to set up a home-brewed system that is off, off the radar from the standpoint, for example, of Freedom of Information Act requests, and to handle it in a way that she handled it?

She wrote in her book that she was enormously careful, that she was told to be careful overseas.  And yet we have the director of the FBI saying that that statement in the book is false.  

VARNEY:  What -- using your best judgment, do you think that we will get to find out what's inside these 15,000 new emails before the election?  

MUKASEY:  Before the election?  

VARNEY:  Yes.  

MUKASEY:  I seriously doubt it.  

VARNEY:  Seriously doubt it.

Michael Mukasey, thank you for joining us, sir.  Appreciate it.  

MUKASEY:  Thank you.

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