President Obama is sending a coded message to the FBI to end its investigation of Hillary Clinton, according to a former Justice Department official, who added that the president shouldn't have weighed in on the issue.

Obama on Sunday appeared to minimize the extent of Clinton's wrongdoing, telling Fox News Sunday "There's classified, and then there's classified. There's stuff that is really top secret, top secret, and there's stuff that is being presented to the president or the secretary of state, that you might not want on the transom, or going out over the wire, but is basically stuff that you could get in open-source."

He added that her misuse of a private server to store such information did not detract from what he called "her excellent ability to carry out her duties."

In an interview with WND's Radio America, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Victoria Toensing pointed out that some of Clinton's messages did fit in that highest category of classification referenced by Obama. "This was not stuff that was just information from public sources. This was not the lowest level. She had the top, top level on her server. In fact, it's so top level that... they won't release it," she said.

Of nearly 2,100 classified emails found on Clinton's server, 22 have received the highest "top secret" classification, while 65 received the secondary classification of "secret."

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Toensing added that Clinton could be charged regardless of intent, with "negligence" carrying the greatest consequences, and that the applicable laws apply regardless of whether Clinton knew the information was classified at the time she handled it.

"The only conduct one has to intend in that statute is to take classified information and put it in an 'unauthorized location.' Those are the exact words of the statute. She had to intend to have classified information in an unauthorized location, and the statute doesn't say diddly squat about whether the information had to be marked classified."

Obama's comments are similar to statements he made years ago suggesting officials should crack down on conservative groups, Toensing said. "The IRS heard that message, and they started a war against conservative groups, not letting them get their tax-exempt status," Toensing said. She also said his comments on Clinton were similar in that they sent "a message to the FBI and to the Department of Justice."