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Howard Dean: Hillary Clinton email scandal part of Republican 'witch hunt' against her

Howard Dean, a former White House hopeful and past chairman of the Democratic National Committee, discusses the current presidential race.
/ Source: TODAY

Howard Dean believes "there's nothing criminal" about any of the correspondence Hillary Clinton kept on a private email server she used while in office, the former Vermont governor said Thursday.

“I think she’s been completely truthful and this is an attempt by the Republicans to smear the frontrunner early on,” he said, noting the GOP has gone after Clinton since she was the first lady. “This has been going on since Whitewater and Vince Foster, this is just another version of this.”

Clinton's emails have been under scrutiny since it was revealed that she used a private email account and a private email server located in her home while serving as Secretary of State. She recently turned over her personal email server to the FBI, as well as a thumb drive with all of her work-related correspondence.

The transfer Wednesday occurred a day after congressional leaders were informed that two of the emails on that server contained top-secret information.

Dean said having the server in the hands of an impartial source will help clear Clinton of any perceived wrongdoing.

“It’s going to show there was no criminality, that there was nothing she sent that was identified as classified or top secret, that this in fact is nothing but a partisan witch hunt," he said. "That's what it is. I think it’s too bad but I think we’ll get through it.”

Clinton’s campaign has insisted she did not send any classified information through her personal account.

Dean also weighed in on speculation over whether Joe Biden will enter the Democratic race.

“He’s been a terrific vice president. The problem is, Joe Biden, he’s a very good guy and probably has no appeal whatsoever to people under 35,” Dean said, pointing out that “the people under 35 elected Barack Obama president” and is a key part of the Democratic coalition.

“I think it makes senses to have a candidate, and I think Hilary is one, I think Bernie (Sanders) is another who can really turn on the under-35 set, and I think that would be a problem for Joe.”

Follow writer Eun Kyung Kim on Twitter.