FBI Director James B. Comey told reporters on Tuesday (July 5) he would not advise the Justice Department to file criminal charges against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over her use of personal servers for all emails during her tenure at the U.S. State Dept.
“No reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” he said, explaining that in order to file criminal charges, the agency needed to prove deliberate intent to send and receive classified and/or secret information on a personal server.
However, he said, “There was evidence that [she and others with whom she communicated] were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive and classified information,” Comey told reporters at a news conference in Washington DC.
Clinton clearly put national security at risk, he acknowledged. Any regular government official could have faced administration penalties for the same actions, he said.
Over the past year, the agency scrutinized 30,000 emails, checked numerous servers and spoke with dozens of aides and other staff members. Of the emails that were examined over the past year, 110 emails in 52 chains contained classified information; 36 chains were determined to contain “Secret” information. Nine chains contained “Top Secret” information and eight chains contained “Classified information. Thousands of emails were not turned over to the authorities.
But that’s not all: At least 34,000 emails were destroyed by Clinton and her attorneys, who reportedly made the decision on which ones who permanently destroy by sorting them using keywords and scanning with subject lines, Fox News reported.
The former Secretary of State was questioned three days ago by the FBI, just after her husband and former President Bill Clinton hopped aboard a plane on the tarmac before Justice Department Attorney General Loretta Lynch could disembark. The two chatted for about 30 minutes “allegedly “only” about their grandchildren, and former colleagues,” Lynch said later when asked by reporters.
But the whiff of other issues was unmistakable, and Hillary Clinton’s session with the FBI followed soon after, after a year of resistance and very involved, dragged out scrutiny into how and where her long-lost emails had gone missing. Lynch subsequently said she would most likely stand by the FBI’s recommendations regarding any indictment following the investigation into Clinton’s use of her personal server.
Some of those emails were destroyed by Clinton’s own attorneys, who reportedly made the decision on which ones to ditch by sorting with keywords and scanning the subject lines, according to a report broadcast on Fox News.
When considering the standard regulations, at the very least the State Department should revoke Hillary Clinton’s Top Secret security clearance at this point, given the concrete evidence uncovered thus far. But “should” does not seem to apply in this campaign, let alone in the legal sphere when it comes to Hillary Clinton, according to former U.S. District Attorney and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
The investigation was focused on whether or not Clinton violated 18 U.S.C. Section 793 of the Espionage Act — which Comey contends that she did not, due to lack of “intent.”
But Giuliani disagreed in an interview on Fox News Tuesday afternoon, pointing out that provision (f) in the code is very specific, defining “extreme carelessness” as “gross negligence.” That, he said, is a felony under the law — which means that Hillary Clinton broke the law. Repeatedly:
Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document. . .relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer, Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
Hana Levi Julian