FBI Director James Comey has announced that his agency will recommend no charges against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server (video below).
On July 5, Comey held a press conference to provide a pivotal update on the FBI’s investigation into whether or not Clinton’s use of an unprotected email server had been a criminal offense, CNBC reports.
“Although the Department of Justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case,” Comey said.
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch had stated that she would accept any recommendations made by the FBI after controversy had erupted over her private meeting with former President Bill Clinton on the tarmac of an Arizona airport, according to Hot Air.
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After being accused of having compromised her objectivity in the Clinton case by meeting with the Democratic nominee’s spouse, Lynch essentially removed her judgment from the case by announcing that she would accept and pursue Comey’s recommendations.
During his remarks, Comey stressed that the FBI investigation had been conducted without political influence and chastised the rumor mill and punditry that had been generated by the case.
“No outside influence of any kind was brought to bear… Opinions are irrelevant, and they were all uninformed by insight into our investigation because we did our investigation the right way,” Comey stated.
The FBI director proceeded to sternly criticize Clinton’s decision to use a private email server, noting that his investigators had found 110 emails in 52 email chains that were classified when the former Secretary of State received them.
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Comey described Clinton and her team’s attitude about the server as careless, and added that the FBI discovered that the State Department at large has a culture of security that is far too relaxed.
The FBI director revealed that there was no direct evidence that the documents which had passed through Clinton’s server had been compromised by foreign hackers, but noted that it was possible. He also concluded that there was no evidence that Clinton and her team had attempted to suppress evidence of any wrongdoing.
“Although there is evidence of potential violations regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” Comey said.
The FBI director explained that the investigation found no criminal intent on Clinton’s part, such as an effort to commit treason or suppress justice.
The announcement arrived after Clinton had been interviewed by FBI officials on July 2. The interview spanned for three-and-a-half hours, according to the New York Post.
Following the announcement, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump slammed the decision through social media.
“The system is rigged,” Trump tweeted out. “General Petraeus got in trouble for far less. Very very unfair! As usual, bad judgment.”
Former U.S. General David Petraeus had pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for mishandling classified information after the discovery that he had had an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.
The FBI had discovered that Petraeus had actually openly discussed classified information with journalists. Despite evidence that he had intentionally divulged government secrets, he only suffered two years probation and a $100,000 fine, Politico reports.
Watch the video below for Comey's full remarks.