(CNN)The optics could hardly be worse.
Three weeks from the Democratic National Convention as most Americans are jamming airports, firing up the grill or looking forward to Fourth of July fireworks, Hillary Clinton was at FBI headquarters -- for a full three and a half hours -- answering questions about her use of a private email server for official business as secretary of state.
Though not unexpected, that news broke in the context of a fresh political storm. In a stunning act of bravado, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, met privately with Attorney General Loretta Lynch aboard her plane Monday while both were on the tarmac at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Clinton's long-awaited questioning by the FBI Saturday signaled that the agency is wrapping up its probe into whether she or her staff did anything illegal by setting up a private email server while running American foreign policy. Sources tell CNN the expectation is Clinton will not face charges.
Bill Clinton says he regrets Lynch meeting
But when paired with Bill Clinton's apparent misstep -- meeting with Lynch at a time when his wife is under investigation -- the two events once again fuel the narrative that the Clintons operate under different rules than the rest of the political world. The stakes of the next several weeks before Democrats officially make Clinton their nominee are much higher now.
And Republicans, who have spent weeks grappling with the drama kicked up by their own presumptive nominee Donald Trump, are ready to pounce. Trump on Sunday said there's no innocent explanation for the airport tarmac meeting between Bill Clinton and Lynch.
"Only a fool would believe that the meeting between Bill Clinton and the U.S.A.G. was not arranged or that Crooked Hillary did not know."
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