Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has penned a scathing op-ed blasting the FBI's decision to not recommend charges against former Secretary of State and current Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
On July 5, FBI Director James Comey offered a stern condemnation of Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time at the State Department. He capped off his remarks by recommending no charges against her, Newsday reports.
“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,” Comey stated.
While the FBI director did refute several of Clinton’s public defenses of her use of private email, he explained that the investigation did not yield proof that there was criminal intent to compromise national security and “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case."
Later that day, Sen. Paul slammed the decision in an op-ed for TIME Magazine, asserting that Comey’s judgment had resulted in “a nation of two sets of laws: one for the Clintons, and one for everyone else.”
Paul pointed to Comey’s disclosure that the FBI had found more than 100 emails that had been classified when Clinton had either sent or received them.
The senator wrote that if any other civil servant had been as careless as Clinton, they would have “their security clearance stripped at a minimum, possibly been fired, and certainly have been open to criminal charges.”
Paul cited the firing of an ambassador, the sentencing of an NSA whistleblower and the two years of probation levied against former CIA Director General David Petraeus for having compromised classified information as examples.
The senator then proceeded to accuse Comey of having bent the rule of law to excuse Clinton from criminal liability.
Suggesting that there had been a coordinated conspiracy in which Comey, a highly respected Republican, was complicit, Paul said the investigation was “a loss for the rule of law and further degrades Americans’ faith in the justice system.”
Sen. Paul has been at odds with the FBI director before. In 2013, he temporarily blocked the confirmation process that would ultimately install Comey as the head of the bureau, according to Rare.
The senator held up the process in order to inquire about the FBI’s use of drone surveillance without a warrant. After the agency gave him his answers, Paul agreed to release his hold. He was the only senator to vote against Comey’s confirmation.