Are Hillary's e-mails finally making Democrats nervous?

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," January 29, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


HILLARY CLINTON, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I did not e-mail any classified material to anyone on my e-mail. There is no classified material. So I'm certainly well aware of the classification requirements, and did not send classified material.

JOHN KIRBY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: The State Department will be denying in full seven e-mail chains found in 22 documents representing 37 pages. The documents are being upgraded at the request of the intelligence community because they contain a category of top secret information. These documents were not marked classified at the time they were sent.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: The State Department explaining this latest failure to release e- mails at the deadline they're required to, prompting questions at the White House about this investigation today.


KEVIN CORKE, FOX NEWS: Can you say with certainty and confidence that Secretary Clinton will not be indicted?

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: That would be a decision that is made by the Department of Justice and prosecutors over there. What I know that some officials over there have said is that she is not a target of the investigation. So that does not seem to be the direction that it's trending. But I'm certainly not going to weigh in on a decision or in that process in any way. That is a decision to be made solely by independent prosecutors. But again, based on what we know from the Department of Justice it does not seem to be heading in that direction.


BAIER: Our producer at the Justice Department, Matt Dean, said this. "A law enforcement source close to the DOJ investigation into Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server is pushing back hard against Josh Earnest's remarks this afternoon that the investigation is not trending in the direction of an indictment. This source tells FOX News that the investigation is still very much ongoing and added with certainty that the decision has not been made on the matter one way or the other."

With that preamble, we've moved over to accommodate our panel. And let's bring them in, Steve Hayes, senior writer for The Weekly Standard, A.B. Stoddard, associate editor of The Hill, and David Catanese, senior politics writer for U.S. News and World Report.

A.B., it seems like this is snowballing. It seems like this is getting bigger.

A.B. STODDARD, THE HILL: Yes. I spoke with Democrats in Washington this week who are getting very nervous about where this is going and how serious this has become, and that there is no way to say, as Brian Fallon, the Clinton campaign spokesperson said today, it's over- classification run amok.

And today they're pretty frantic that a cabinet secretary like Secretary Vilsack, would come out and say that the timing of this is suspect, and call, I mean, call into question with intelligence sources in our government that their involvement of political intervention in any way to hurt her campaign is preposterous. And it is becoming a really big political problem not for her but for President Obama. At some point it will look like the executive branch is covering up for her.

BAIER: Steve, we've had Secretary Vilsack come out. We played that sound bite earlier with Governor Huckabee, and he did say that. The Clinton campaign had said that they suspected the inspector general of the intelligence community was somehow politically working with Republicans to hurt Hillary Clinton. So now it is snowballing, as A.B. says, about the White House.

STEVE HAYES, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Yes. Politico had a piece about the questions that the Clinton team has raised about one of the investigators involved in this way down in the weeds. This is the Clinton playbook, right? Take shots at anybody who might be involved in the investigation regardless of whether they work for the Obama administration, regardless of whether they might be career intelligence officials. You need to tar everybody involved because that's the only answer to this question.

To A.B.'s point, I think we're actually at the point where the White House looks like it may be involved in a cover up in this. What we heard from Josh Earnest today from the podium at the White House was extraordinary. I mean, he said two things that struck me. What I know is that some officials have said she is not a target of the investigation. To my knowledge, nobody has said that on the record. That's what Clinton team is saying that DOJ officials are saying. We don't have people from the Department of Justice making those kinds of blanket declarations.

BAIER: That was the quote that I read from Justice.

HAYES: Right, exactly, exactly.

And second, Josh Earnest said based on what we know from the Department of Justice, it does not seem to be headed in that direction regarding an indictment. What does the White House know from the Department of Justice? Who is doing the briefing? What information are they sharing? What guidelines are they using to determine what information in this ongoing criminal investigation the Department of Justice is sharing with the White House?

BAIER: In fact, the FBI director was up on Capitol Hill and told lawmakers, David, that he was not briefing the president on every detail of this investigation as it's going on. This is sticky politically.

DAVID CATANESE, U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT: And the Clinton campaign is now calling for the release of all of it, which is convenient for them because they have no control over the release of these classified pieces of information.

But, look, in the Democratic primary, it may not be the issue that we think it is. An NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll back in the fall said 70 percent of Democrats don't care about this. I think this does hand a talking point to all the Republicans in the race looking at a general election against Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders' campaign would not comment on this today.

BAIER: To that point, I went out to the Bernie Sanders campaign. We'll play this sound bite again when I asked them about it.


BAIER: Clearly you have momentum according to the polls and your message is resonating in places like this and others in New Hampshire and Iowa. I'm wondering with the backdrop of the email investigation with the FBI if now you regret saying at the beginning that you didn't give a damn about Hillary Clinton's emails.

BERNIE SANDERS, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, absolutely no regrets at all. In fact, I would argue that the reason we are doing well is that people understand we are trying to run a different kind of campaign. Not one of personal attacks. One of dealing with the real issues facing the American people. And I'm not going to be engaged in personal attacks against Secretary Clinton or anybody else.


BAIER: So, A.B.?

STODDARD: I disagree David. Senator Sanders knows this is going to get wrap-around coverage all weekend long leading up to the caucuses. Senator Sanders has also seen the polling that her untrustworthy and dishonest numbers are terrible, and that's helping fuel his support among young people who don't trust her.

BAIER: So he doesn't say --

STODDARD: Right. And also, look, he has already attacked her for taking big speech fees from Goldman Sachs. It doesn't really get worse than that.

CATANESE: You think he'll go at her --

STODDARD: I don't know. I'm just saying, I don't know that he has to. And when you say Democrats don't care about it, I disagree, just because in the polling it shows that they really don't believe her.

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