CNN's Keilar Grills Cory Booker: If Hillary Clinton Is Indicted Should She Step Aside As Nominee?

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CNN's Brianna Keilar grilled U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) on Attorney General Loretta Lynch's private meeting with former President Bill Clinton and what should happen if Clinton is indicted. Booker tried to change the topic, advising we "focus on the real issues of this campaign."

"Technically it can happen. If it did, should she step aside?" Keilar asked.

"Technically you and I could be investigated as well," Booker retorted.

"Probably more likely, if we were being investigated, that we would be indicted. But should she step aside if there is a finding?" Keilar pressed Booker.

"That to me is something that's not even within the realm of possibility," Booker answered.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN: I want to start with the big news about the FBI interview. If an indictment is handed down before the election, if Hillary Clinton were to be formally charged with a crime should she step aside in favor of Bernie Sanders or even Vice President Biden?

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): Well first of all that's just not going to happen. I think we've all seen a lot of the evidence and the facts here. E-mails have come out. [Saturday's] interview was not something to signal that. This is something she voluntarily did that last summer she really wanted to do.

I think this is something that's just routine and we're going to be seeing an investigation closing up. And I think she, like most Americans, wants this thing to be concluded and so we can move beyond it and focus on the real issues of this campaign.

KEILAR: Technically it can happen. If it did, should she step aside?

BOOKER: Technically you and I could be investigated as well.

KEILAR: Probably more likely, if we were being investigated, that we would be indicted. But should she step aside if there is a finding?

BOOKER: Again, that to me is something that's not even within the realm of possibility.


Booker reportedly is one of the candidates on Clinton's shortlist for VP.

Keilar also asked Booker about remarks Lynch made that she will take Justice Department guidance under consideration but she is the "ultimate decider." Booker said the focus on the use of "ultimate decider" in a state from the Justice Department is "parsing," however he conceded "there is a distinction but not much of a difference."

Booker said the meeting "in no way undermined the investigation."

KEILAR: Muddying the waters a bit on if she will simply accept these recommendations. After she suggested she will be taking a step back from the investigation and just accepting this, the Justice Department spokeswoman clarified her remarks. She told Yahoo! News that, "the Attorney General will be the ultimate decider.'

So how can you maintain you're just accepting the recommendations and also there is the suggestion that she is the ultimate decider? These seem to be two very different things.

BOOKER: I think we're really parsing things, that there is a distinction but not much of a difference. The reality is this a professional, life-long prosecutor who had a conversation with a guy who, frankly, one of the things we love about Bill Clinton he is probably one of the friendliest people on the planet earth.

They talked about golf and grandchildren and in no way undermined the investigation. One conversation from a professional prosecutor who is going to have no implication on this at all. I am happy she is staying in the saddle and happy she's not recusing herself. But she is making sure that she is going to focus on the recommendations of the professionals that are involved here.


Watch CNN's full interview with Sen. Booker:

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