The White House on Wednesday defended the FBI's decision not to bring charges against Hillary Clinton, even in the face of new evidence that she gave Clinton Foundation donors special access while secretary of state.
Asked if a special prosecutor is needed to investigate Clinton's alleged conflicts of interest while serving as the nation's top diplomat, White House press secretary Earnest argued that there have been plenty of investigations into Clinton's tenure already.
"It's hard for anybody to make a persuasive case that there hasn't been enough investigating," Earnest told reporters Wednesday, noting months of probing by the FBI and numerous investigations by Republicans in Congress.
Earnest defended the FBI investigations by calling them "thorough, professional" and "unfettered by politics even in this highly charged political atmosphere."
"I can tell you that President Obama and the administration have complete confidence in the independent prosecutors and the FBI who devoted significant time investigating Clinton's email practices," he said.
"I don't think anybody would question the political independence of someone like [FBI Director] James Comey," he said, noting that Comey had served in the Bush administration as well.
The Associated Press on Tuesday reported that more than half of the people outside the government who met with Clinton while she was secretary of state were donors to the Clinton Foundation, and said it was an "extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president."
The Clinton campaign and her supporters have argued that the Clinton Foundation has 7,000 donors, and that the meetings with 60 of them amount to less than 1 percent of the total number.
Brad Woodhouse and the liberal group Correct the Record say the total number of meetings the AP used excluded those with U.S. federal employees or foreign government representatives, and the meetings the AP examined included only the first half of Clinton's tenure as secretary of state.
Woodhouse also noted that the AP's focus on meetings between Clinton and Muhammad Yunus, a Clinton Foundation donor, failed to mention that her relationship with the economist from Bangladesh goes back 30 years to her time as first lady of Arkansas.
Yunus, a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2006, helped pioneer the concept of microcredit and microfinance as a way to fight poverty in developing countries. Clinton first reached out to him 30 years ago and brought him to the state to explore the possibility of implementing micro-financing programs to assist the poor, Woodhouse pointed out.