Fox News is reporting that the FBI has expanded its probe of Hillary Clinton's emails "with agents exploring whether multiple statements violate a federal false statements statute, according to intelligence sources familiar with the ongoing case."
Fox News is told agents are looking at U.S. Code 18, Section 1001, which pertains to "materially false" statements given either in writing, orally or through a third party. Violations also include pressuring a third party to conspire in a cover-up. Each felony violation is subject to five years in prison.
This phase represents an expansion of the FBI probe, which is also exploring potential violations of an Espionage Act provision relating to "gross negligence" in the handling of national defense information.
"The agents involved are under a lot of pressure and are busting a--," an intelligence source, who was not authorized to speak on the record, told Fox News.
Section 1001 could apply if Clinton or her aides made a misleading or false statement that resulted in federal agents to spending more time and resources on an investigation. Writes Fox News, "legal experts as well as a former FBI agent said, Section 1001 could apply if Clinton, her aides or attorney were not forthcoming with FBI agents about her emails, classification and whether only non-government records were destroyed. It is not publicly known who may have been interviewed."
This is the same statute of law that got Martha Stewart in trouble with law enforcement ... and in jail.
"This is a broad, brush statute that punishes individuals who are not direct and fulsome in their answers," former FBI intelligence officer Timothy Gill told Fox News.
"It is a cover-all. The problem for a defendant is when their statements cause the bureau to expend more time, energy, resources to de-conflict their statements with the evidence," he said.
The FBI is doing its own investigation of the Clinton emails:
Separately, two U.S. government officials told Fox News that the FBI is doing its own classification review of the Clinton emails, effectively cutting out what has become a grinding process at the State Department. Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy has argued to both Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Congress that the "Top Secret" emails on Clinton's server could have been pulled from unclassified sources including news reports.
"You want to go right to the source," Gill said. "Go to the originating, not the collateral, authority. Investigative protocol would demand that."
Fox News has previously reported that at least four classified emails had their markings changed to a security level that shields their content from Congress. Whistleblowers believe this is an attempt to conceal the degree to which there was classified information on Hillary's server.