The FBI stated Tuesday that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton should not endure criminal charges over her use of a private email server as Secretary of State, even though she and aides were “extremely careless” in handling classified information.
“OUR JUDGMENT IS THAT NO REASONABLE PROSECUTOR WOULD BRING SUCH A CASE.”
FBI Director James Comey criticized Clinton for carelessly handling classified, top-secret information, citing there is no evidence she intended to do so.
“Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information,” Comey said in a statement explaining the investigation, “our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” Comey said his agency simply went where the facts took them. While the FBI makes recommendations to Justice Department prosecutors over potential charges, AG Loretta Lynch has said she would accept the bureau’s views in this case.
Clinton, who campaigns later in the day with President Obama in North Carolina, did not address the FBI’s findings during a morning speech at the NEA in Washington. Comey, meanwhile, took Clinton and State Department officials to task for their procedures in handling information.
“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” he said.
Comey said that, of the roughly 30,000 Clinton emails provided by the State Department, 110 messages in 52 email chains were determined to have contained classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those email chains contained information that was top secret at the time they were sent or received, the FBI reported; 36 of the email chains contained secret information at the time; and eight contained lesser confidential information.
Part of the investigation dealt with whether foreign adversaries tried to hack Clinton’s private email system, Comey said. It is possible that “hostile actors” were able to access Clinton’s personal email account, Comey said, but there was no “direct evidence.”
Comey said the evidence supports the conclusion that “any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.”
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump did not let this decision go by without tweeting his dissent.
The system is rigged. General Petraeus got in trouble for far less. Very very unfair! As usual, bad judgment.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 5, 2016
“…SICK AND TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT YOUR DAMNED EMAILS.”
As one of the biggest hot button issues in the 2016 Presidential campaign, Clinton’s emails have been used by far-right Conservatives and far-left Progressives alike to show a distrust for the first female Democratic presidential candidate. Meanwhile, Clinton’s opponent in the race, Bernie Sanders went on record during the first Presidential debate stating, “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damned emails.”
It is still too soon to tell if the the FBI decision to end the investigation without pressing criminal charges will be enough to end Emailgate, but it is the opinion of this reporter that we will be hearing about Clinton’s damned emails for years to come.