Hillary Clinton’s longtime friend and off-the-books intel provider Sidney Blumenthal claimed in an interview on Monday that he is all in favor of transparency, but refused to say if he has been interviewed by the FBI as part of its ongoing investigation into the former secretary of state’s private email server.
“Have you been interviewed by the FBI yet on this matter?” MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews asked Blumenthal, who sent and received hundreds of the emails contained in the State Department’s release of Clinton emails.
“Well, I’m — you know, I really don’t want to talk about an ongoing inquiry right now,” stammered Blumenthal, who worked at the Clinton Foundation and several other Clinton-linked organizations while Hillary Clinton was in office.
“You can’t say whether you’ve been interviewed or not?” Matthews pressed.
“Well, my feeling about it is, that let’s wait and see at the end, and see what happens to everybody involved in it, and see what the resolution is, and then I would like to see the Department of Justice issue a very transparent report,” said Blumenthal, who also claimed that he has “been urging transparency.”
The former Bill Clinton White House aide, who was interviewed by the Benghazi Select Committee last year, could potentially be ensnared in a separate investigation. He is one of the victims of the Romanian hacker Marcel Lazar Lahel.
Known as Guccifer, Lahel hacked Blumenthal’s AOL account in 2013 and also revealed Clinton’s personal email account. At the time it was unknown that Clinton exclusively used that account while in office. Lahel was extradited to the U.S. from a Romanian prison last month, stoking speculation that the move had something to do with the Clinton investigation.
Last week Fox News and NBC News released interviews with Lahel in which he claimed he accessed Clinton’s server after infiltrating Blumenthal’s email account. The Clinton campaign strongly denied the claim.
Blumenthal emailed frequently with Clinton when she served as secretary of state on subjects ranging from Beltway gossip to political advice to suggestions on how to handle sensitive international issues such as the invasion of Libya.
In 2011 and 2012 he emailed Clinton pushing strongly for intervention in Libya. At the same time he and a former CIA operative were working with a defense contractor called Osprey Global Solutions. The firm pushed for contracts to provide private security forces in the north African country after the removal of Col. Moammar Gaddafi.
And out of the hundreds of emails he sent Clinton, at least 23 were found to contain classified information. Many of the other emails Blumenthal sent to Clinton contain information that appears to be highly sensitive.
An FBI interview with Blumenthal would not be much of a surprise.
Last week it was reported that investigators have already interviewed several Clinton aides, including her so-called “body woman,” Huma Abedin. Some of those aides — who were mostly unnamed — have been interviewed multiple times.
The Democratic party front-runner has downplayed her email exchanges with Blumenthal, calling his messages “unsolicited.” But on many occasions she responded to the former Clinton Foundation employee asking for additional information. She also frequently circulated his memos to others at the State Department and, on at least one occasion, to the White House.
On one of the emails she shared — a March 9, 2011 memo — Clinton appeared to want to hide Blumenthal’s identity. She ordered Abedin to print it “w/o any identifiers.” (RELATED: Email Shows Hillary Ordered Huma To Print Blumenthal Email Without ‘Any Identifiers’)
Despite Clinton’s attempts to distance herself from her old friend, it was reported in February that Blumenthal was still providing Clinton strategic political advice.