During testimony before Congress, FBI Director James Comey asserted that former Secretary of State and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton did not lie to investigators about her use of a private email server.
On June 7, Comey provided to the House Oversight Committee, prompted by Chairman Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, who had expressed shock that the FBI director did not recommend charges against Clinton for her use of a private server.
“The FBI’s recommendation is surprising and confusing,” Chaffetz said in an official statement, according to Yahoo News. “The fact pattern presented by Director Comey makes clear Secretary Clinton violated the law. Individuals who intentionally skirt the law must be held accountable.”
During Comey’s testimony, Chaffetz asked if the former secretary of state had lied about her use of a private email server.
“We have no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI,” Comey replied.
Chaffetz then pivoted the question to whether or not Clinton had lied about her use of a private email server to the American public.
“That’s a question I’m not qualified to answer,” Comey responded. “I can speak about what she said to the FBI.”
Chaffetz then referenced Clinton’s October 2015 testimony before the oversight panel about the Benghazi attack in 2012, during which she stated that none of the emails that she had sent or received had been marked classified.
The chairman asked Comey if Clinton had lied under oath during that hearing. The FBI director stated that the bureau would need a referral from Congress to investigate Clinton’s Benghazi testimony.
“You’ll have one,” Chaffetz said. “You’ll have one in the next few others.”
Later on in the hearing, Comey was asked why former CIA Director General David Petraeus was prosecuted for his compromising of classified information and given a misdemeanor while Clinton will not face any charges.
“The Petraeus case, to my mind, illustrates perfectly the kind of cases the Department of Justice is willing to prosecute,” Comey replied, according to The Huffington Post.
A former general, Petraeus had shared classified information to his biographer Paula Broadwell and had lied about it to the FBI. He was given two years of probation and a fine.
“In that case, you had vast quantities of highly classified information ... not only shared with someone without the authority to have it, but we found it in a search warrant, under the insulation in his attic, and then he lied to us about it during the investigation,” Comey explained.
The FBI director concluded the Petraeus case could not be compared to Clinton’s because the general’s actions were “far worse.”