THE HILL — The FBI investigation swirling around Hillary Clinton’s presidential run appears to have entered its final stages.
Many of the former secretary of State’s top aides have been interviewed over the course of the last month, and Clinton herself is expected to answer investigators’ questions about her use of a private email server in the coming days or weeks.
Former officials and legal experts say the Democratic front-runner’s testimony will likely be the final puzzle piece for federal prosecutors and FBI investigators as they decide whether to file any charges over her use of a personal email server while secretary of State.
“This certainly sends the signal that they are nearing an end to their investigation,” said Steven Levin, a former federal prosecutor and current partner at the law firm Levin & Curlett.
Though FBI officials have said Clinton is not the target of the probe, they would want to be as prepared as possible before going in to interview her, Levin said.
“Typically, the way we structured investigations when I was a federal prosecutor is that we would seek to interview the target last,” he said.
“As you begin to interview people who are extremely close to the target of an investigation — people who are considered confidants … you typically interview those people towards the final stages of the investigation,” he added. “So that way if they tell you something that is contrary to something you’ve already learned, you can immediately challenge them on that information.”
The end of the investigation would be a relief for Clinton and her allies, who have faced questions for months over her exclusive use of the personal server.
Though her rival in the Democratic primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), has vehemently refused to attack her over the email issue, Republicans are sure to use it against her in the general election.
For Clinton, the stakes of the final interview will be high.
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