Professor Ronald Rotunda, writing in the Wall Street Journal, says Hillary Clinton may have violated 18 USC 1519, committing the federal crime of "anticipatory obstruction of justice," by deleting her emails from when she was Secretary of State.
J. Christian Adams, writing at PJ Media, says that if Secretary Clinton signed the standard "separation statement" when she left the department, she may have violated 18 USC 1001 by falsely stating to the government that she'd returned all work-related documents. (Update: The State Department says there is no record of her signing that separation agreement.)
Republicans are doubtless salivating over the prospect of keeping the Hillary email deletion story alive for the next two years via various legal maneuvers.
President Obama can cut it all short now with one easy move. Unlike a lot of his other moves, this one involves a power that he is unambiguously granted by the Constitution — the pardon power. It can be used pre-emptively.
By pardoning Hillary Clinton, President Obama would be doing her the legal favor of sparing her from any risk of prosecution. While the move would be a legal lifeline, it would be political poison, because it would stigmatize Hillary as someone who needed a presidential pardon to escape prosecution. From President Obama's point of view — or at least from Vice President Biden's point of view — that element of it might not be a bug, but a feature, forcing open the Democratic field to other contenders.
At least, the press may want to ask President Obama about this. Has he considered pardoning Hillary? If not, why not? Is it because he lacks confidence in her innocence?