After months of investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of multiple private, unsecured email accounts during her tenure as secretary of State, FBI director James Comey recommended Tuesday morning that the Department of Justice not press charges against the presumptive Democratic nominee — despite ample evidence she was “extremely careless,” in handling national security secrets.
“Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” Comey said.
The FBI’s public recommendation that the DOJ not press charges against Clinton is highly unusual, he said.
“This is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences,” he said. “To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions, but that’s not what we’re deciding now.”
While Clinton and her staff were “extremely careless” in handling national security information — including information that put human intelligence assets at risk — Comey said the FBI’s investigation uncovered no evidence they intended to violate federal law.
“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.
She should have known better, he said.
“There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in secretary Clinton’s position or in the position of those with whom she was corresponding about those matters should have known an unclassified system was no place for that conversation,” he said.
Clinton’s server was especially vulnerable because it wasn’t even supported by a full-time security staff — making it less secure than a Gmail account, Comey said.
“None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system. The presence is especially concerning because all these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers, not even supported by full-time security staff like those found at agencies and departments of the United States government or even with a commercial e-mail service like Gmail,” he said.
He also added that it was possible that a hostile entity could have breached Clinton’s email server and accessed national security secrets.
Ultimately, Attorney General Loretta Lynch will decide wether or not Obama’s DOJ will prosecute the former secretary.
Bill Clinton secretly met with Lynch last week aboard a private plane on the tarmac of the Phoenix airport, leading many to believe there is an underlying conflict of interest at play.
If she wins the presidential election, Hillary Clinton is reportedly planning to keep Lynch as Attorney General.
Hillary Clinton is scheduled to appear at a campaign rally with President Obama in Charlotte at 3 p.m. — just hours after the FBI’s recommendation.